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101. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Renaud Barbaras L’autonomie de l’apparaître
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The goal of this essay is first to emphasize the proximity of the approaches of these two philosophers starting from their common critique of Husserlian subjectivism. By basing the phenomenality of the world on a sphere of immanence constituted by lived experience, Husserl accounts for appearing [l’apparaître] starting from a certain appearing [apparaissant] and thus falls into a form of circularity, the same one that is at work when the natural attitude makes appearing rest on an objective appearing. The aim of these two authors is then to overcome this deeper and more secret version of the natural attitude by freeing the transcendence of the world from every form of objectivity and freeing the existence of the subject from every form of immanence. It is on this sole condition that the autonomy of the phenomenal field can be guaranteed. However, the dynamic approach to the subject in Patočka, which itself leads to a determination of the world as becoming, allows him to account for the chiasm that Merleau-Ponty put forward at the end of his life without managing to ground it, since he held to an insufficient characterization of existence in terms of flesh.
102. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Clélia Zernik Emmanuel Alloa et Adnen Jdey (éds.), Du sensible à l’oeuvre: Esthétiques de Merleau Ponty; Mauro Carbone (éd.), L’empreinte du visuel: Merleau-Ponty et les images aujourd’ hui
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The collective works edited by Emmanuel Alloa and Adnen Jdey, Du sensible à l’oeuvre, and by Mauro Carbone, L’empreinte du visuel, meet the dual requirementimposed by reading the work of Merleau-Ponty today: on one hand, they extend the philosopher’s thought and highlight its obvious necessity in reading the mostcontemporary art; and, on the other hand, by not allowing themselves to be lulled by the gentle seduction of the writing, they emphasize the coherence of his thought andthe rigor of certain of his key concepts such as style, resumption, flesh or individuation, which are the object of precise and unpublished studies.
103. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Edward S. Casey, Donald Landes, Eduardo Mendieta, Michael Naas, Leonard Lawlor Hugh J. Silverman (1945-2013)
104. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Pierre Rodrigo Après la phénoménologie? Ontologie de la chair et métaphysique du mouvement chez Merleau-Ponty et Patočka
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Patočka discusses «the disaster of the rejection of metaphysics» by Heidegger. In this critique, he has claimed that «Merleau-Ponty, Ricoeur, Waehlens and others» could neither be satisfied with the Heideggerian closure of the ontological sphere onto itself nor be content with Husserlian transcendentalism. In fact, there is a convergence between Patočka and Merleau-Ponty on this point, as demonstrated by a note from The Visible and the Invisible in which Merleau-Ponty affirms “I am for metaphysics” ...We show that these two thinkers have seen that phenomenology always faces, by eidetic necessity, what remains essentially irreducible for it: being. One thing toremember with Patočka, however, is that «we must not forget that the phenomenon is precisely phenomenon of being» even if «the structure of the appearing is entirely independent of the structure of beings.» But another thing is to thematize the relation between the appearing of the phenomenon and the manifestation of being. This implies that “after” phenomenological description a new type of correlation is analyzed.
105. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Christiane Bailey Le partage du monde: Husserl et la constitution des animaux comme « autres moi »
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While phenomenologists claim to have overcome solipsism, most have not pushed beyond the boundaries of individual human intersubjectivity to that of individuals of other species. Yet Husserl recognizes the existence of an interspecific intersubjectivity, an intersubjectivity beyond the limits of the species. He even goes so far as to say that we sometimes understand a companion animal better than a foreign human. However, even if he admits that many animals are capable of a life of subjective consciousness and live in a world of shared meaning, he does not consider them to be “persons” according to his strict conception that associates personhood with rationality, maturity, normality and historicity. Being a “person” in its most primordial sense – and its most decisive as the basis for political, legal and ethical conceptions – simply means being the subject of a surrounding world, of a common world and a biographical existence. Distinguishing two meanings of the concept of person allows us to recognize that animals share transcendentality; they are not simply alive but have a life that is both biographical and communal, even if they are not able to reflect on their own conscious life in order to consider their place in the chain of generations and to adopt what Husserl calls a “vocation”. The Husserlian phenomenology of anomalies allows us to recognize that animals truly come under the figure of the other, that they are alter ego subjects of a conscious life, and as such they participate fully, just as do children, the insane, and foreigners, in the co-constitution of the spiritual world.
106. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Annabelle Dufourcq La philosophie politique de Merleau-Ponty au-delà du concept de crise. L’engagement entre vertige chronique et action symbolique
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This article shows that Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy is traversed by a tension between an interpretation of history and existence in terms of crisis and the recognition of an insurmountable vertigo, the Heraclitean model of an eternal return of the singular and the partial, without possible synthesis. Our thesis is that the model of the crisis is marked by a classical positivism which makes it the secret ally of a conservative and anti-democratic politics. It is also an impasse in Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy since it supposes a reference to an overlooking point of view that the whole of Merleau-Pontian reflection has shown to be impossible. The phenomenology of perception and ontology of the perceived world show that we have access only to a mystified consciousness and that even the world itself is undecided. The Heraclitean path must win against the interpretation in terms of crisis, but the persistence of the second path in Merleau-Ponty’swork is also explained by the extremely difficult character of the first path. The theory of chronic vertigo takes us closer to nihilism, and this is an aspect of Merleau-Pontian philosophy whose radical and highly problematic – perhaps even aporetic – character must not be underestimated. How to decide on practice and politics without absolute reference, without being able to guarantee anything? The use Merleau-Ponty makes of crucial references to Machiavelli and Marx at the heart of his political philosophy is very revealing this regard: in the first movement, this is a matter of “disarming” these philosophies, making them instruments for the disruption of action. But Merleau-Ponty’s final goal is not to return to the philosophy of contemplation, abstract ontology, but to build a new practical model: that of symbolic action, which integrates vertigo rather than surpassing it and constitutes a praxis inseparable from the enterprise of knowledge and artistic creation. We could say that it is saved by its openness to sense, but this means that it cannot rely on any positive established meaning and must find its wellspring in a ‘wild’ ability to be unceasingly decentered, to take nothing for granted, to approach our values and beliefs as foreign. This raises the question of the possibilityof the incarnation of such a model in an effective political institution.
107. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Ted Toadvine Le temps des voix animales
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Phenomenology’s attention to the theme of animality has focused not on animal life in general but rather on the animal dimension of the human and its contested relation with humanity as such. Phenomenology thereby reproduces Agamben’s “anthropological machine” by which humanity is constructed through the “inclusive exclusion” of its animality. The alternative to this “inclusive exclusion” is not, however, a return to kinship or commonality but rather an intensification of the constitutive paradox of our own inner animality, understood in terms of the anonymous, corporeal subject of perception that lives a different temporality than that of first-person consciousness. This provides us with an entirely different context for encounter with non-human others, insofar as they speak through our own voices and gaze out through our own eyes. This position is developed through a reading, first, of the proximity of Merleau-Ponty’s early work with that of Max Scheler, who paradigmatically reduces human animality to bare life. Merleau-Ponty differentiates himself from Scheler by emphasizing, in The Structure of Behavior, that life cannot be integrated into spirit without remainder. Merleau-Ponty’s later work thinks this remainder as the ineliminable gap and delay inthe auto-affection of the body and as a chiasmic exchange that anticipates Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of “becoming animal.” This remainder of life within consciousness is the immemorial past of one’s own animality. It follows that our “inner animality” is neither singular nor plural but a kind of pack that speaks through the voice that I take to be mine. Furthermore, in the exchange of looks between myself and a non-human other, the crossing of glances occurs at an animal level that withdraws from my own reflective consciousness.
108. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Renseignements
109. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Frédéric Jacquet Emre Şan, La transcendance comme problème phénoménologique: lecture de Merleau-Ponty et Patočka
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In his book, Emre Şan undertakes a confrontation between Merleau-Ponty and Patočka on the question of transcendence understood as a phenomenological problem,indeed as the problem of phenomenology. This approach has the great merit of identifying the meaning of being of Being as promise, on the path of an ontology beyondHusserl and Heidegger. Emre Şan’s book thus offers a very important contribution to phenomenological studies.
110. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Karel Novotný Liberté et incarnation. Esquisse des conditions de l’existence humaine selon Jan Patočka
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The idea of radical, historical freedom which Patočka, beginning in the 1930s, thought of as a movement of transcendence, cannot be comprehended without taking embodiment – the human being’s corporeal and intercorporeal anchorage in the world – into account. This said, we consider the pertinence and permanence, for both human freedom and corporality, of a moment – to all appearances marginal – that constitutes in reality more of a limit for each of these elements (including the motif of movement itself) and, as a result, allows a link to be posited between them. This moment is the confrontation of the living, embodied soul with the cold and hostile side of the world, with the otherness which is alien to life, with the periphery of nature that is bereft of sense for life and constitutes its ultimate limit. The undermining of sense that can happen in such confrontations gives rise to a vertigo deriving from the extreme form of freedom enacted in them. This makes it possible to explain the rupture between spirit and life, a certain dualism opposing life and spirit, that prompts the question: Is thisdualism not specific to European humanity as constructed and called for by Patočka?
111. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Nicolas Dittmar Simondon et Deleuze: l’intensité de l’être
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Simondon and Deleuze are the philosophers of intensity: thinking the intensity of being rather than its formal a priori is for them the path to the “true transcendental.” The true transcendental, according to these two post-Kantian philosophers, would be the conditions of real experience, which are not dictated by a reason anticipating the relation to phenomena, but by individuation. This reversal priviledges the process of openness to difference as a production of the unexpected for knowledge. To be individuated, for Simondon as for Deleuze, is to learn to overcome a certain logic of representation, based on the principle of identity, by giving precedence to singularities: the individual is not only a thinking substance cutting up the world according to its categories, but also an active nature facing the unknown. But one might ask how the individual can be identified and develop if it is constituted, at its expense, from intensive relations and experiences that it cannot synthesize in the understanding. Does individuation ultimately make sense? Simondon and Deleuze agree that consciousness is nothing without a synthesis of unification: this possibility for consciousness of unifi ng the diversity of experience, of maintaining a unity in plurality, refers to the preindividual, which defines in Simondon a field of ontological freedom, that is, of multiple individuations enriching the Self. For Deleuze, in his careful reading of Simondon, it is the place of the emission of singularities in the process of intensive individuation. In both cases, it is a question of defining a new form of subjectivity, closer to the realities of experience, of what we might call the transductive forms of sensibility.
112. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Ted Toadvine Présentation
113. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Dragoş Duicu Merleau-Ponty et Patočka face aux deux apories aristotéliciennes du temps
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This article examines how Merleau-Ponty and Patočka confront the two major difficulties of every phenomenological thinking of temporality, corresponding to the two Aristotelian aporias of time: the unity of time and the permanence of the now (or of eternity). Our goal is to show that only a radical account of movement and the structure of appearing, such as that provided by Patočka following his phenomenological renewal of Aristotle, can clarify the true status of the unity of time and of the temporal present, without falling into an excessive subjectivising thereof or an exacerbation of the transcendent pole (as happens, respectively, in Phenomenology of Perception and The Visible and the Invisible). As an alternative to the Merleau-Pontian chiasm, Patočka offers a rigorous thinking of the phenomenological correlation, making time appear as a sediment of movement.
114. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Jakub Čapek, Ondřej Švec Introduction
115. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Emre Şan La totalité comme promesse. Recherches sur les limites de l’intentionnalité chez Merleau-Ponty et Patočka
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Our guiding research hypothesis is as follows: we believe that the significant progress made by the phenomenology of immanence and by the phenomenology of transcendence are not distinguished so much by the positing of new problems as by the reformulation of «the question of the ground of intentionality» that fueled the entire phenomenological tradition. It is striking that, despite the different solutions they offer, these two approaches have the same critical orientation vis-à-vis phenomenology (they characterize intentionality by its failure to ensure his own foundation), and they have the task of testing phenomenology in a confrontation with its various «outsides» by according a central place to the «non-intentional.» For it is only by starting from such an enterprise of showing the limits of intentionality that the possibility is opened of a true surpassing of the Husserlian perspective that the given is the measure of all things. To do this, we want to emphasize the positions of Merleau-Ponty and Patočka on this fundamental issue and show that their approaches bear phenomenology, throughits own means, to the threshold of a domain that is no longer the phenomena in the Husserlian sense.
116. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Richard Kearney Ecrire la Chair: L’expression diacritique chez Merleau-Ponty
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Merleau-Ponty acknowledges several levels of ‘expression’ running from the most basic forms of sensation to painting, poetry and philosophy. This essay concentrates on his notion of ‘diacritical perception’ as key to this expressive continuum. It shows how Merleau-Ponty makes the radical move of bringing together phenomenological description with structural linguistics to reveal how perception is fundamentally structured like language. It also suggests that this move is part of his overall pursuit of an ‘indirect ontology’. Expression operates by an ‘indirect method’ of gaps, elisions, folds, latencies, absences, hollows, silences, lacunas – or what Merleau-Ponty calls ‘negativities that are not nothing’: nothing but the non-being which reveals being. The radical implications of ‘diacritical perception’ are powerfully explored in Merleau-Ponty’s Collège de France seminar Le monde sensible et le monde de l’expression (1953) and in his late essay ‘Indirect Language and the Voices of Silence’. To perceive diacritically is to read and write the flesh.
117. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Eliška Luhanová La non-présence présente: structure de l’experience chez Merleau-Ponty et Patočka
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The present paper is based on an assumption that M. Merleau-Ponty and J. Patočka penetrate by their proper ways into a specific domain constituted by the mutual relations between the me and all the beings which are given to it where a fundamental ontological reciprocity between the me and the world appears. In our first part, we try to ensure an access to this domain by using the phenomenological method, namely, the analysis of experience. We start from the elementary phenomenological fact that what is given in experience transcends its actual empirical donation, then we proceed to determine the content of this transcendence and propose the concept of the transempirical nature of beings: the being transcends every single actual experience, but not every possible experience. On this ground, we try to reconstruct the general ontological basis that leads us inevitably to the limits of phenomenology. Nevertheless, in our second part, we try to demonstrate – in the form of a hypothesis in progress – that we can probably avoid trespassing on the limits of metaphysics if we agree to trespass on the borders between phenomenology and structuralism, in the sense of a structural ontology of possibilities.
118. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Anna Caterina Dalmasso Le médium visible. Interface opaque et immersivité non mimétique
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The relation of reciprocal co-implication that Merleau-Ponty formulates—and on which he insists throughout his work—between sense and the sensible, perception and expression, and then visible and invisible, transforms the way in which one conceives of the medium. Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetics reveals an idea of the medium as a support that erases itself in the act of conveying the signification and also shakes the direct correlation between transparency and mimetic simulation.Understood as the sensible thickness of the body opening onto the world, then as depth and écart that catalyzes vision, the medium, then, furnishes one of the definitions of flesh, as the element of auto-mediation: connective tissue or fabric of communication that is at once écart and internal difference. Merleau-Ponty conceives of the medium as both that which renders and that which is rendered visible. It is therefore no longer an intermediary; it ceases to be an invisible mediator and becomes the opaque element that reveals in filigree the movement of gestaltic difference.It is from such a Merleau-Pontian conception of medium that one can begin to elaborate the complex issues posed by mediality in the post-medial age. The idea of a “visible medium” permits us to break with the confl ation of the simulation’s immersive effect and performance, which often informs the rhetoric concerning medias and new technologies, in order rather to think of an “opaque interface” or an “non-mimetic immersivity.” From such a conception of mediality we can equally understand the phenomenon of numerical convergence, not as the accomplishment of the suppression or dematerialization of the medium, as is the case with traditional theories, but as the point of departure for a return to the body as the condition of possibility for every aesthetic experience.
119. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Koji Hirose Instituer le chiasme : à partir du cours sur Hegel de Maurice Merleau-Ponty
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In the 1958-1959 Collège de France course, Merleau-Ponty expounds a detailed commentary on the last paragraphs of the Einleitung from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. We examine in what sense this course has developed the notions that he was in the process of defining, notions such as “chiasm,” “reversibility,” “depth,” and “flesh.”What seems crucial in this course is to clearly define good ambiguity as opposed to bad ambiguity, that is, to the simple mixture of finitude and universality, of interiority and exteriority. It is a question then of revealing, even within Hegelian thought, the operation, although unstable, of good ambiguity and of instituting it beyond the distinction between anthropology and logic without a return to naturalism.It should first be noted that consciousness is for Hegel violence against itself, it gives itself its measure, such that the distinction between measuring and measured is internal to it. By insisting on this “reversibility” of the measuring and the measured, Merleau-Ponty comes to emphasize that the self-relation of consciousness is simultaneously its opening onto a transcendent – an opening whereby it learns something. This leads him to define “the new ontological milieu” which is the depth of the life of consciousness. It is within this depth that the interrogative experience winds on itself.Secondly, if there truly must be a moment where the Hegelian Zweideutigkeit becomes good ambiguity, it will not suffice to explore preobjective depth; it would still be necessary to discern “the hinge” which is “solid, unwavering” and which “remains irremediably hidden.” It is this unwavering hinge that supports phenomena and that, in simultaneously decentering and recentering the fields of appearances, opens a place where one can follow the genesis of sense.Finally, we note that this discovery of the new ontological milieu can be considered as the recovery of the notion of institution that Merleau-Ponty had proposed in 1954-1955: on the one hand, the notion of chiasm invites us to reveal the hinge which at once decenters and recenters the fields of appearances. This hinge is free from the alternative of nature and culture, of subjective and objective spirit; it is the rootedness of our interrogative experience in brute being, which is not object but starts an indefinite search of self. But, on the other hand, the notion of institution, which is essentially descriptive and factual, makes us better feel the weight of the instituted that is also irremediably hidden. It makes us feel the inertia of the instituting event, as well as its fecundity and its cumulativity.
120. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Guy-Félix Duportail Un autre retour à Freud : à Propos de Force-Pulsion-Désir de Rudolf Bernet
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In his latest work, Force-Pulsion-Désir, Rudolf Bernet seeks to clarify one of the fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis, that of “drive.” He engages such authorsas Aristotle, Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Freud, Husserl, Nietzsche and Lacan to better elucidate philosophically the sense of the concept of drive. The work’s argument thushighlights a kind of destiny of drive: the first moment concerns the dynamic aspect of the drive, that of force; the second is that of drive taken in its essence and truth;the third is that of desire which prolongs and sublimates the drive. The path followed in this book thus goes from the non-human to the human or, if one prefers, fromnature to subject, and interrogates their interpenetration. In contrast to naturalism and historicism, Rudolf Bernet chooses to read Freud in a resolutely philosophical way, in a way that at the same time challenges our perception of the relation between philosophy and psychoanalysis. The epistemic stakes are high. Without claiming to address every implication, we briefly retrace here the overall trajectory.