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41. Chiasmi International: Volume > 12
Leonard Lawlor Introduction (French)
42. Chiasmi International: Volume > 12
Mauro Carbone Le Philosophe et Le Cinéaste (French)
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The Philosopher and the Moviemaker.Merleau-Ponty and the Thinking of CinemaAs its subtitle indicates, the present article is devoted to the relations between Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy and the thinking of cinema. The first section focuses on two topics, each underlying the lecture on cinema given by Merleau-Ponty in 1945. On the one hand, we find the reflection about the peculiarities of expression in film and cinematic image; on the other, we see the convergence between the inspiration of cinema and that of philosophy, which Merleau-Ponty sees as a significant characteristic of his time. This is a convergence in which the nouvelle vague’s cinema will recognise itself and which Christian Metz will retrospectively confirm. Moreover, by developing both of these topics, the author finds a way to interpret Merleau-Ponty’s lecture as an undeclared polemical response to Henri Bergson’s famous negative judgement on cinema. The second section focuses on the question of movement in cinema, putting together further references to cinema made by Merleau-Ponty in posthumous or unpublished writings such as the notes for the 1952-53 course on “The Sensible World and the World of Expression.” The third section focuses on Merleau-Ponty’s later reflection about vision and images. This section shows how the peculiar noveltyof cinema is more and more understood by Merleau-Ponty not only as historically convergent with a new way of conceiving philosophy, but as a symptom of the new ontology he was trying to formulate philosophically.Il filosofo e il cineasta.Merleau-Ponty e il pensiero del cinemaCome sottolinea il suo sottotitolo, il presente articolo è dedicato alle relazioni fra la filosofi a di Maurice Merleau-Ponty e il pensiero del cinema. La prima sezione si concentra su due argomenti, ognuno ravvisabile nella conferenza sul cinema tenuta da Merleau-Ponty nel 1945. Da una parte, troviamo la riflessione sulle peculiarità dell’espressione filmica e dell’immagine cinematografica; dall’altra, la convergenza fra l’ispirazione del cinema e quella della filosofia, che Merleau-Ponty vede come una significativa caratteristica del proprio tempo: una convergenza in cui il cinema della nouvelle vague riconoscerà se stesso e che Christian Metz retrospettivamente confermerà. Inoltre, sviluppando entrambi gli argomenti, l’autore trova modo di interpretare la conferenza di Merleau-Ponty come una non dichiarata risposta polemica al celebre giudizio negativo sul cinema formulato da Henri Bergson. La seconda sezione si concentra sulla questione del movimento nel cinema, riunendo ulteriori riferimenti di Merleau-Ponty al cinema in scritti postumi o inediti, come le note per il corso del 1952-1953 su “Il mondo sensibile e il mondo dell’espressione”. La terza sezione si concentra sulla riflessione dell’ultimo Merleau-Ponty sulla visione e le immagini. Ciò mostra come la peculiare novità del cinema sia sempre più compresa da Merleau-Ponty non solo come storicamente convergente con un nuovo modo di concepire la filosofia, ma come un sintomo della nuova ontologia che egli stava cercando di formulare filosoficamente.
43. Chiasmi International: Volume > 12
Andrea Camilleri « Le Cours Des Choses Est Sinueux » (French)
44. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Stephen A. Noble Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Ou Le Parcours D’Un Philosophe: Éléments pour une biographie intellectuelle
45. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Judith Michalet La Chair Comme « Plissement Du Dehors »: La Lecture Deleuzienne Du Dernier Merleau-Ponty
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The Flesh as the Folding of the OutsideDeleuze’s Reading of the last Merleau-PontyBy describing the flesh in terms of a “torsion” of “an Outside more distant than any exterior,” Deleuze in his 1986 book on Foucault sketches an ambivalent reading of Merleau-Ponty’s final philosophy. Insofar as it grants to the Outside an ontological primacy, Deleuze’s definition seems to indicate that the Flesh is not an originary agency, but rather a derived state of a primordial folding. If the flesh is derived, then the inconstituability of the carnal fold, which Merleau-Ponty defends, would be radically challenged. But at the same time, the difficulty that Merleau-Ponty encounters in his final writings – that of giving an account of the specificity of my Flesh in relation to the Flesh of the world – would in this way perhaps be overcome. We shall show in fact that the absence of a specific ontological difference between the Flesh of the body and the Flesh of the world in The Visible and the Invisible – an absence that Deleuze points out when he invokes an “ideal coincidence” between the two kinds of flesh, could be avoided by recourse to the living Flesh conceived as stemming from a torsion of aprimordial Outside. To what extent is Deleuze, in his metaphysical reconstruction of Merleau-Ponty’s project, still faithful to this primordial Outside? To what extent does he twist this speculative reformulation in the direction of his own conception of life? These are the questions which my article would like to disentangle.La carne come piega del FuoriDeleuze lettore dell’ultimo Merleau-PontyDescrivendo, in un passo del suo libro su Foucault, la carne come torsione di un “Fuori più lontano di ogni mondo esterno”, Deleuze abbozza una lettura ambigua della filosofi a dell’ultimo Merleau-Ponty. In quanto concede al Fuori un primato ontologico, questa defi nizione deleuziana sembra costituire l’indice di una concezione secondo la quale la carne non sarebbe più un’istanza originaria, ma uno stato derivato da un piegarsi primordiale. Se così fosse, è l’incostituibilità della piega carnale, difesa da Merleau-Ponty, che verrebbe rimessa in questione. Al contempo, però, la difficoltà di rendere conto della specificità della mia carne rispetto alla carne del mondo verrebbe semplicemente aggirata. Come si tratterà di dimostrare, l’assenza di una differenza ontologica netta tra la carne del corpo e la carne del mondo ne Il visibile et l’invisibile, sottolineata da Deleuze nell’evocazione di una “coincidenza ideale” delle due carni,potrebbe venir risolta dal richiamo ad una carne ricavata dalla torsione di un Fuori primordiale. In che misura Deleuze, nella sua ricostruzione metafisica del progetto merleau-pontiano, si mantiene fedele ad esso? In che misura Deleuze inflette questa riformulazione speculativa in direzione della sua propria concezione della vita? Sono le questioni che il presente articolo si propone di affrontare.
46. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Irene Pinto Pardelha La Magie Émotionnelle: Aperçu d’une phénoménologie des émotions chez Merleau-Ponty
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Emotional MagicSketch of a phenomenology of emotions in Merleau-PontyHaving more phenomenological and anthropological contours than ontological, this article tries to draw the guidelines of a phenomenology of emotions based on Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception. In a perspective sometimes very close to Sartre, we wish to stress, in the emotional experience, the conditions of facticity and transcendence in Merleau-Ponty’s thought. If the subject lets itself be seduced by the affective category of the environment, it is only the subject as a phenomenal body that possesses the conditions through which it is able to retrieve itself.La magia emozionaleAbbozzo di una fenomenologia delle emozioni in Merleau-PontyCon contorni più fenomenologici e antropologici che propriamente ontologici, questo articolo intende tracciare le linee principali di una fenomenologia delle emozioni nell’ambito della Fenomenologia della percezione di Merleau-Ponty. Seguendo una linea di riflessione a tratti molto prossima al Sartre di Idee per una teoria delle emozioni, è nostra intenzione porre in rilievo, a partire dall’analisi dell’esperienza emozionale, il pensiero merleau-pontiano riguardo alle condizioni di fatticità e trascendenza. Se, da un lato, il soggetto si lascia affascinare dalle categorie affettive dell’ambiente circostante, dall’altro, soltanto il soggetto stesso, in quanto corpo fenomenico, è in grado di recuperare se stesso.
47. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Gilles Deleuze Cours Vincennes – Saint Denis (20/01/1987)
48. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Pierre Montebello Deleuze, Une Anti-Phénoménologie ?
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Deleuze. An Anti-Phenomenology?Deleuze played Bergson off against Merleau-Ponty, but for what reasons? What is the meaning of this anachronistic return to Bergson, against the grain of phenomenological history? There was, in Deleuze, an underground debate with phenomenology, a debate that never became explicit, but that took place on common grounds which, for him, were a question of re-appropriation: the transcendental, time, and art. On all of these subjects, Deleuze invoked Bergson’s authority against phenomenology, as if Bergson allowed us to measure anew this real field, independently from consciousness, in its quadruple dimension: immanent, ontological, cosmological, and temporal. Art and flesh will be the ultimate figures of this struggle where finitude and infinitude confront one another, and where inverted possible worlds draw themselves: a world that mirrors man and a world in which “man is absent.”Deleuze, un’anti-fenomenologia?Deleuze ha ‘giocato’ Bergson contro Merleau-Ponty. Ma per quali ragioni? Qual è il senso di questo ‘inattuale’ ritorno a Bergson, contro il ‘vento della storia’ della fenomenologia? C’è stato in Deleuze un dibattito sotterraneo con la fenomenologia, un dibattito che non è mai stato veramente esplicito, ma che si è svolto su territori communi che si trattava, per lui, di tornare a far propri: il trascendentale, il tempo, l’arte. Su ciascuno di questi temi, Deleuze ha invocato la tutela di Bergson contro la fenomenologia, come se Bergson permettesse di percorrere di nuovo questo campo reale, indipendentemente dalla coscienza, nella sua quadruplice dimensione: immanente, ontologica, cosmologica, temporale. L’arte e la carne saranno le ultime figure di questa lotta in cui s’affrontano la finitudine e l’infinitudine, e in cui si delineano mondi possibili di segno rovesciato: un mondo che si ripecchia nell’uomo e un mondo «in assenza dell’uomo».
49. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Pierre Rodrigo « Chair » Et « Figure » Chez Merleau-Ponty Et Deleuze
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“Flesh” and “Figure” in Merleau-Ponty and DeleuzeGilles Deleuze points out, in his work on Francis Bacon, that “the phenomenological hypothesis is perhaps insufficient because it invokes only the lived body. But the lived body is still very little in relation to a more profound and almost unlivable Power.” The present study fi rst seeks to specify what is this intensive Power of a life carried out at the limit of the unlivable. This leads to an analysis of Deleuze’s notion of Figure. Thus, we come back to the explicitly anti-phenomenological position of Deleuze, in other words, to his will, which he constantly reaffirms, to liberate philosophy – by following the path opened by Bergson – from the ruinous presupposition of a merely human measure of appearing, which would still be the presupposition of phenomenology. In particular, we are asking ourselves if Merleau-Ponty’s notions of “being in depth” and of “pregnancy” do not escape from Deleuze’s critique, and if it is also substantiated that Deleuze was able to assert that phenomenology “erects as a norm ‘natural perception’ and its conditions.” It is the confrontation of Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty’s theses on art and the world, which finally allows us to put forward an answer.“Carne” e “Figura” in Merleau-Ponty e DeleuzeGilles Deleuze fa notare, nella sua opera su Francis Bacon, che «l’ipotesi fenomenologica è forse insufficiente, in quanto si rifà solamente al corpo vissuto.Ma il corpo vissuto è ancora poca cosa rispetto ad una Potenza più profonda e quasi invivibile». Il saggio presente cerca innanzitutto di precisare che cosa sia questa Potenza intensiva di una vita portata al limite dell’invivibile. Questo condurrà in un secondo momento ad un’analisi della nozione deleuziana di Figura.Il saggio ritorna quindi sulla posizione esplicitamente anti-fenomenologica di Deleuze, in altri termini sulla sua volontà, incessantemente riaffermata, di liberarela fi losofi a, nel solco di Bergson, dal pericolo di una misura semplicemente umana dell’apparire, premessa che a suo giudizio starebbe ancora al fondo del progetto della fenomenologia. Ci chiederemo, in particolare, se le nozioni merleau-pontiane di “essere della profondità” e di “pregnanza” non sfuggano alla critica di Deleuze, al di là del fatto quest’ultimo abbia affermato che la fenomenologia “erige a norma la ‘percezione naturale’ e le sue condizioni”. È il confronto tra le tesi di Deleuze e di Merleau-Ponty sull’arte ed il mondo che permetterà, in ultima analisi, di avanzare una risposta a questo insieme di interrogativi.
50. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Claudio Rozzoni Une Courte Note Sur Le Pli: « Une histoire comme celle de Merleau-Ponty »
51. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Annabelle Dufourcq Nietzsche et Merleau-Ponty: Profondeur des images et pensées de l’éternel retour
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Nietzsche and Merleau-PontyDepth of Images and the Thought of the Eternal ReturnHere, we analyze the reasons for which it is possible to establish a connection between Nietzsche and Merleau-Ponty – a connection claimed by Merleau-Ponty – based on a “metaphysics” of the Dionysian and the Apollonian. All existence rests upon a cruel and violent depth; and the surface of the “real,” individualities and distinct ideas, is in fact solely constituted by Apollonian images. We show how Nietzsche and Merleau-Ponty surmount the nihilism necessarily induced by this fi rst thesis by affirming the richness of images and their power of inspiration as well as the eternal recurrence of the world of appearances. In a world of images, salvation belongs to those who will know how to recognize images as such in any being and in any idea. No preexisting meaning confines us; each instant must be creative and the maximum amount of meaning will be exalted at the heart of a vivified imagination. But how can we, simultaneously, produce simple images, love and desire their subsequent destruction as well as be a creative genius, instituting and teaching? What is exactly our relationship to the Dionysian depth and to past images? Nietzsche’s position on this matter is ambiguous and, to a certain extent, double. Two tendencies coexist in his thought. On the one hand, we have an exhortation for rupture, for absolutely free creation as well as a condemnation of modern culture which has been invaded and ossified by the bric-a-brac of historical meaning. On the other hand, we have the claim for a heritage, the reference to the models of monumental history and the invocation of an inspiration drawn from nature and the elements. Merleau-Ponty’s solution to escape nihilism avoids such a duality and endeavors to reconcile our status of inheritors and our responsibility as creators. In Nietzsche’s steps, but by founding a renewed doctrine of eternal recurrence, Merleau-Ponty shows us how to become, by one and the same movement, superficial and profound.Nietzsche e Merleau-PontyProfondità delle immagini e pensieri dell’eterno ritornoSi analizzano qui le ragioni per le quali è possibile stabilire un avvicinamento tra Nietzsche e Merleau-Ponty, avvicinamento rivendicato da Merleau-Ponty stesso, a partire dall’idea di una «metafi sica» del dionisiaco e dell’apollineo. Ogni esistenza riposa su un fondo crudele e violento, mentre la superfi cie del «reale», delle individualità e delle idee chiare e distinte è costituita unicamente di immagini apollinee. Mostraremo come Nietzsche e Merleau-Ponty sormontino il nichilismo inevitabilmente connesso a questa prima posizione, affermando la ricchezza e molteplicità di spunti racchiusi in immagini come quella dell’eterno ritorno del mondo delle apparenze. In un mondo di immagini, la salvezza appartiene a coloro che sapranno riconoscere le immagini in quanto tali, in ogni essere e in ogni idea. Nessun senso preesistente ci rinchiude, ogni istante deve essere creatore, e il massimo di senso sarà celebrato in seno a un’immaginazione vivifi cata. Ma come si può al tempo stesso produrre semplici immagini, amare e desiderare la loro distruzione ormai prossima, e proporsi di essere un genio creatore, istituire ed insegnare? Qual è il nostro rapporto con il fondo dionisiaco e con le immagini passate? La posizione di Nietzsche su questo punto è ambigua e, in una certa misura, doppia. Coesistono nel suo pensiero due tendenze: da una parte un’esortazione alla rottura, alla creazione assolutamente libera, e una condanna della cultura moderna, invasa e sclerotizzata dalle anticaglie del senso storico; dall’altra parte la rivendicazione di un’eredità, il riferimento ai modelli della storia monumentale e l’invocazione di un’ispirazione attinta alla natura e agli elementi. La soluzione che Merleau-Ponty elabora, come via di fuga dal nichilismo, evita una tale dualità e si sforza di conciliare il nostro statuto di eredi con la nostra responsabilità di creatori. Seguendo Nietzsche, ma fondando una rinnovata dottrina dell’eterno ritorno, Merleau-Ponty ci mostra come divenire, attraverso un unico movimento, superficiali e profondial tempo stesso.
52. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Danilo Saretta Verissimo Position et critique de la fonction symbolique dans les premiers travaux de Merleau-Ponty
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Position and Criticism of the Symbolic Functionin the First Works of Merleau-PontyIn this article, we propose to address the question of the symbolic function in Merleau-Ponty’s first works. More specifically, we shall be interested in the place thathe grants to this question in The Structure of Behavior, and to the way he critically takes it up in the Phenomenology of Perception. Although Merleau-Ponty hardly clarifies this himself, Merleau-Ponty’s commentators also have rarely made this problematic an object of debate. In his first work, by appropriating the semantics of the symbolic emerging from neuropsychology, Merleau-Ponty characterizes the level of organization of human corporality by means of its capacity to overcome the immediate character of lived situations. In this work, the categorical attitude appears as a new signification of organic structuration that, among the different forms of behavior, characterizes human activity. Moreover, in the chapters of the Phenomenology of Perception where Merleau-Ponty evokes the spatiality, the motility, and the expressivity of one’s own body, he abandons causal explanations of pathological phenomena which are used as if they are arguments, just as he gives up explanations copied off the symbolic function which are then associated with intellectualist analyses. These analyses delimit the notion of intentionality that Merleau-Ponty aims at developing. The notion is established on the foundation of the synergetic unity of one’s own body. Whence the importance that another theoretico-anthropological device acquires throughout the Phenomenology of Perception: the notion of the “corporeal schema”.Posizione e critica della funzione simbolicanei primi lavori di Merleau-PontyIn questo articolo ci proponiamo di affrontare la questione della funzione simbolica nei primi lavori di Merleau-Ponty. Ci interesseremo più specificamente al posto che è accordato a tale questione ne La struttura del comportamento e alla sua ripresa critica nella Fenomenologia della percezione. Poco esplicitata dal filosofo, questa problematica è altresì poco dibattuta presso i commentatori. Nel suo primo lavoro, Merleau-Ponty, appropriandosi della semantica del simbolo sorta dalla neuropsichiatria, caratterizza il livello d’organizzazione della corporeità umana mediante la sua capacità di superare il carattere immediato delle situazioni vissute. In quest’opera, l’attitudine categoriale appare come un nuovo signifi cato della ristrutturazione organica che, fra le differenti forme di comportamento, caratterizza l’attività umana. D’altronde, nei capitoli della Fenomenologia della percezione in cui Merleau-Ponty evoca la spazialità, la motricitàe l’espressività del corpo proprio, l’autore rinuncia alle spiegazioni causali dei fenomeni patologici utilizzati alla stregua di argomentazioni, così come rinuncia alla spiegazioni ricavate dalla funzione simbolica, ormai ricondotte a delle analisi di ordine intellettualistico. Tali analisi delimitano la nozione d’intenzionalità che il filosofo mira a sviluppare, e che si stabilisce in base al fondamento dell’unità simbolica del corpo proprio. Da qui l’importanza che acquista un altro dispositivo teorico-antropologico lungo tutta la Fenomenologia della percezione: la nozione di “schema corporeo”.
53. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Pierre Rodrigo Presentation
54. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Pierre Rodrigo Presentazione
55. Chiasmi International: Volume > 13
Guillaume Carron De L’Expérience À L’ « Événement »: Les enjeux de la pensée d’un « symbolisme originaire »
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From Experience to the “Event”The Stakes of the Thought of an “Originary Symbolism”This article proposes to understand the progressive conceptualization of experience as “originary symbolism.” After having examined the notions of form but also – and above all – those of categorical attitude and expression, we show that Merleau-Ponty turns toward a concept of experience that is from the start expressive. Here, the symbolic function, in Cassirer’s sense, is slowly replaced by a “symbolism” in which the diacritical, institution, and the unconscious play a fundamental role. Making use of Merleau-Ponty’s unpublished notes, particularly those in the Sensible World and the World of Expression, allows us to observe the convergence of diacritical thought, institution, and the unconscious toward one unified conception of originary symbolism. Hence, we propose an approach that departs from the traditional categories of consciousness and of evidence, and founds a theory of experience as “event”.Dall’esperienza all’ «evento»La posta in gioco del «simbolismo originario»L’articolo si propone di comprendere la progressiva concettualizzazione merleaupontyana dell’esistenza come «simbolismo originario». Dopo aver esaminato le nozioni di forma, ma anche e soprattutto di atteggiamento categoriale e di espressione, mostreremo che Maurice Merleau-Ponty si indirizza a una concezione dell’esperienza che ne fa qualcosa di immediatamente espressivo; concezione in cui la funzione simbolica, nel senso di Cassirer, viene poco a poco sostituita da un «simbolismo» in cui il diacritico, l’istituzione e l’inconscio giocano un ruolo fondamentale. Il ricorso alle Note inedite di Merleau-Ponty, e in particolare a Le monde sensible et le monde de l’expression, consente appunto di osservare la convergenza dei tre concetti di diacritico, di istituzione e di inconscio, in direzione di una medesima concezione del simbolismo originario. Proponiamo quindi un approccio che si discosta dalle tradizionali categorie della coscienza e dell’evidenza, per fondare una teoria dell’esperienza come «evento».
56. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Marco Spina La rencontre avec autrui. Distance, regard et silence dans la pensée de Maurice Merleau-Ponty
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The starting point of this essay is an article of Enzo Paci, “Prospettive relazionistiche” published in Dall’esistenzialismo al relazionismo, in which the author interprets Merleau-Ponty’s project in the light of a quotation from Saint Exupery: “Man is a knot of relations, and relations alone count for man.” The problem of relations plays, in fact, a central role in all of Merleau-Ponty’s work; hence the principal objective of this essay: to reflect on the originary value of relations in the constitution of the human subject.As Merleau-Ponty himself suggests in his early reflection on affective life, everything in the human being is manifested under the form of the desire of life understood as relation. It is the affective dynamic of desire that provokes reason and configures a manner of being that, through the discovery of alterity, surpasses natural determinisms in opening us to the experience of freedom, sacrifice and love. It is by building on this originary relational constitution of existence that we re-read Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, in particular the problem of the self as relation. This makes possible a renewed approach to the human sciences with the goal of thinking our relations with others.
57. 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.
58. 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.
59. 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.
60. 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.