Kindle Veronique M. Foti ☆ Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty Epub Ú in ☆

The French philosopher Renaud Barbaras remarked that late in Maurice Merleau Ponty’s career “The phenomenology of perception fulfills itself as a philosophy of expression” In Tracing Expression in Merleau Ponty Aesthetics Philosophy of Biology and Ontology Véroniue M Fóti addresses the guiding yet neglected theme of expression in Merleau Ponty’s thought She traces Merleau Ponty’s ideas about how individuals express creative or artistic impulses through his three essays on aesthetics his engagement with animality and the “new biology” in the second of his lecture courses on nature of 1957–58 and in his late ontology articulated in 1964 in the fragmentary text of Le visible et l’invisible The Visible and the Invisible With the exception of a discussion of Merleau Ponty’s 1945 essay “Cezanne’s Doubt” Fóti engages with Merleau Ponty’s late and final thought with close attention to both his scientific and philosophical interlocutors especially the continental rationalists Expression shows itself in Merleau Ponty’s thought to be primordial and this innate and fundamental nature of expression has implications for his understanding of artistic creation science and philosophy

11 thoughts on “Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty

  1. says:

    It's no secret that the theme of expression runs like an undercurrent through the vast body of Merleau Ponty's work and here in a series of studies among the first of their kind we get to see just the scope and breadth of Merleau Ponty's efforts to grapple with the 'paradoxes of expression' which so haunt his writings Tracing the conceptual development of 'expression' across Merleau Ponty’s engagement with art biology and the history of philosophy culminating with Merleau Ponty's own 'ontology of the flesh' in his late publications Veroniue Foti demonstrates the central if nonetheless knotty role that expression plays throughout Merleau Ponty’s wide ranging intellectual itineraryAlthough less a comprehensive survey with a unified trajectory than a series of ‘local’ commentaries each chapter dealing roughly with a particular essay lecture course book or thinker taken together the readings offered within do an admirable job of elucidating the stakes involved in Merleau Ponty’s reflections on expression Indeed there is a sense in which essays here are best read as collection of critical reader’s guides to this or that particular Merleau Pontyian text each with an eye to the place of expression within it This isn’t to say that Tracing Expression doesn’t have its own narrative arc; only that the studies within can be treated uite nicely in isolation of each other without compromising the insights furnished by FotiAs far as that arc goes however Foti follows the Merleau Ponty scholar Renaud Barbaras in arguing that although Merleau Ponty only came to properly recognise the full philosophical potency of expression in his later work that recognition followed from a series of struggles to wrest expression from the linguistic abode out of which Merleau Ponty drew it from In his gradual realisation that expression could be generalised into an ontological rather than merely linguistic category Merleau Ponty’s ‘ontology of the Flesh’ was an attempt precisely to give ontological voice to what remained implicit in his reflections on language Where Foti’s book comes into its own however is in its illustration by way of a series of intellectual vignettes as it were of just how this realisation took formIndeed as anything but an uncritical reader Foti is keen to point out instances in which Merleau Ponty himself doesn’t uite live up to his own insights regarding expression or conversely in the case of Merleau Ponty’s offhand treatment of Spinoza reject resources which would have allowed him to develop it his philosophy of expression even further These sorts of critical observations together with Foti’s ability to draw connections between seemingly disparate regions of Merleau Ponty’s thoughts art and biology in particular mean that Tracing Expression lives up precisely to the promise of its name I should also mention that for anyone following the ‘biological turn’ in recent continental philosophy thanks Deleuze the sections on Adolf Portmann and Jakob von Uexkull are an absolutely indispensable read