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On reversible subjectivity : Merleau-Ponty's ontology of the flesh

Merleau-Ponty's ontology of the flesh

Authors Mulcahy, William Brian
Issue Date 1997
Summary This Thesis deals with the French Philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological ontology. The Thesis proposes that Merleau-Ponty's ontology seeks to reverse the order of traditional ontology by providing an ontological ground for his thesis of the primacy of perception but that this ontology is not an altogether helpful development of this work. The first part of the thesis examines the thesis of the primacy of perception in view of traditional conceptions of perception. The second chapter shows how Merleau-Ponty grounds this thesis in the more tindamental ontology of the flesh in his work The Visible and The Invisible. At the same time it argues that Merleau-Ponty strategy is one which seeks to rework the categories of traditional ontology. The third chapter of the thesis provides a contemporary look at Merleau-Ponty's work. In particular, it tries to show that Merleau-Ponty's work is helpfil in the sense that it provides a focus on what has been traditionally marginalized in philosophy: the lived body, but that his ontology is not helpfill when it comes to exploring the ways in which forces of a social and cultural nature impose themselves on the body. In this regard the work of Michel Foucault points an interesting way forward. Finally, the thesis argues that Merleau-Ponty's use of language aligns him with more contemporary philosophers like Jacques Derrida but this deployment language is in itself problematic with respect to the tradition he tries to overcome.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 1997
Language English
Format Thesis
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