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The Visible and the Invisible contains the unfinished manuscript and working notes of the book Merleau Ponty was writing when he died The text is devoted to a critical examination of Kantian Husserlian Bergsonian and Sartrean method followed by the extraordinary The Intertwining The Chiasm that reveals the central pattern of Merleau Ponty's own thought The working notes for the book provide the reader with a truly exciting insight into the mind of the philosopher at work as he refines and develops new pivotal concepts


10 thoughts on “Le Visible et l'invisible suivi de notes de travail

  1. says:

    210318 second reading two years later review reading again there is actually or at least 'different' difficulty at least for me reading a philosophy text must now go through all the other thoughts read of this author and other thinkers fully understood or simply as mentioned such that clarity pace rhythm of reading is often paused gone back and read again and again when for example i have to think did i understand a passage this way or that way and do i now understand it better? there is the call for reflection on 'reflection' of the usual philosophy that tends to 'intellectualism' there is coming across definitions of the 'visible' and the 'invisible' uotations of proust examined no i am not likely to read him again there is some argument against ever 'bracketing' the perception of the world that perception of all sorts are 'perceptual faith' and not misplaced there is examination of sartre's 'nothingness' there is some reference to bergson not going far enough there is some clearer distinction of phenomenological 'how' rather than positivistic 'that' but again especially in 'chiasm' essaychapter and assertion of 'flesh' and 'reversibility' this book is definitely a fivethis is a much later addition one year reading 'm p aesthetics reader' at the moment has a brief four part outline by m p about what is the 'invisible' 1 what is not actually visible but could be hidden elsewhere 2 what relative to the visible could nevertheless not be seen existentials dimensions non figurative framework 3 what exists only as tactile or kinesthetically 4 the 'leka' the Cogito there from m p himself not much clearer and not reduction this is a later addition just reading some of the 'working notes' and i can see how frustrating how much must be argued from these notes that are yes in chronological order but are notes to himself notes that focus on where he is going often repeating titles often approaching it over and over but it is also inspiring to follow some of his ideas in formation his notes are over years of thought he has several sections titled as the final vision in but this does not help fully explain i primarily feel my mistake in trying to identify those terms he is talking about the sensible visible being that which i can see and sense and invisible is somehow implicit but not 'ground' as that too is the vis well he did write an entire book on these concepts so i should not be surprised it is so difficult to understand020416 first review great work if you like merleau ponty if you can read also his disagreements with sartre his extension and critiues of bergson husserl heidegger if you are interested in where he is going with phenomenology if you are intrigued by the thoughts in process particularly in 'working notes' if you do not mind speculative intro elaboration of thoughts maybe coherent even incomplete if you mourn his early death if you wonder where he was going if you like merleau pontynow what is 'the visible' and what is 'the invisible'? well this was the last title and no guarantee m p would not change it again with a concluding chapteressay in which he works the concept of 'flesh' something other than 'empiricism' where he argues against the limiting of what is reflected on or 'idealism' which tends to 'intellectualism' but visin first sort of shows up as what is truly worthy of 'hyper reflection' after m p describes how what is thought what is investigated how this is different from sartre especially his 'nothingness' which m p evades doubts denies thinks too encompassing totalizing when he prefers how thought is 'invisible' as a 'fold'in a way he does remind me of sartre does use the language that might precede s but that is where i first heard of the 'in itself' and the 'for itself' and how this struggle animates describes forms so much thought and human life that the 'invisible' seems to inhabit the 'visible' in the same way whereas for hd the 'nothing noths' and so there is no 'thing' of 'nothingness' for m p it seems the 'invisible' in something similar 'invisibles' and most of this work the central text which is only about 40 000 words or 160 pages is devoted to describing affirming conceiving exactly what is this 'visible' and thus not much on the 'invisible' but there are ideas i have read of m p before that he uses here again or i read in some previous essays such as the grid or lines of a swimming pool are not perceived as independent of the intervening water as 'really' grid or lines and yet also not in this water but seen according to this water according to this 'style' and how we 'seer' must necessarily be in the world and of the same being to perceive the world m p did call his big book phenomenology of 'perception' after all and to be embodied to be 'visible' seems to be needed to see or sense the rest of the world 'visible'so maybe i do not understand m p but i certainly enjoy not understanding and can see how inspiring his thought is of what i think i understand he dismisses atomistic empirical theories of 'uale' how exactly do we sense music the same as colour? and this makes me think of 'multiplicity' of bergson he decides that the key to perception is to be embodied and not separate into 'consciousness' let alone 'ego' he refuses any gap to 'representation' and any defining 'lack' or 'nothing' ready to be filled by 'the sensible' which he derides in its nature as being an euivalence between 'nothing' and 'being' in this way launching on as chapters list 'reflection and interrogation' then 'interrogation and dialectic' then 'interrogation and intuition' leading to that 'chiasm' i look at this review i give it a five not because it explains this dyad of 'visible' and 'invisible' but because it stimulates me to think on m p stimulates me to reread other work on m p and brings an awareness to me of what sort of philosophy texts i most enjoy reading the interpretation could be i am an amateur but i willingly confess my ignorance and try to understand what i read and what i read tends in these latter works in collections of essays in other authors explainingusing thoughts of big names in continental philosophy is not intending to follow all arguments and logic and terminology but to start with some ideas already accepted and seeing where their thoughts goi like to read philosophy i have not always read big texts i have read 'being and nothingness' but not 'being and time' but i have read enough to know who is fluid engaging interesting eg bergson and who is not eg husserl except his last work 'crisis of' though i will struggle through both hoping to understand so i have read 'matter and memory' and also 'cartesian meditations' but not 'ideas 1' i have read some philosophy and of that some phenomenology not knowing enough to claim Socratic ignorance and wisdom so i know what i prefer how i prefer to read and think and that even after this work 'invisible' escapes my full comprehension it is becoming another root of the 'rhizomatic' eg grass way of exploring its cousins and descendants in thought i think i think with a useful idea of what m p is on about it this work but maybe i need to read


  2. says:

    Reading Merleau Ponty is like waking up from a terrible dream about an objective out of body experience Now you're flexing your legs and arms happy to be back in your own body


  3. says:

    This is an incredible final text of Merleau Ponty In this obscure and haunting work Merleau Ponty attempts to establish a new Ontology of the flesh In doing so he arrives at a powerful refutation of subjectobject dichotomies and dualistic thinking There is a radical revision and new understanding of the human being as world The human being and its world are unified They can never be seperated Scientific methodology attempts to posit itself as an absolute viewer an all seeing birds eye view which can reach the object as it is in itself However this is problematic because what it witnessed is always witnessed by someone There is always a hermeneutical dimension to all experience we cannot divorce ourselves from any entity We can only view it and reflect on it according to a new mode of relationality Merleau Ponty also makes a strong case in the famous essay The Chiasm where the object is always inextricably tied up with the subject through a touching and being touched a seeing and being seen The end notes of the text are also insightful despite the fact they are short and sometimes only one line such as The History of Meaning Highly recommended to any serious student of philosophy It is strongly rooted in Heidegger Hegel and Husserl even though MP attempts to move away from the models of these thinkers A background in phenomenology and dialectics is essential to grasping this text I read this work very uickly and so missed uite a bit I will definitely return and go through it slowly and carefully


  4. says:

    Nothingness is sexy


  5. says:

    His unfinished masterpiece The chapter on The Intertwining might just be an analysis at the farthest limit phenomenology permits Beyond lies the Scylla and Charybdis of metaphysical speculation and the vortex of limitless deconstruction


  6. says:

    the idea of chiasm that is every relation with being is simultaneously a taking and a being held the hold is held it is inscribed and inscribed in the same being that it takes hold of Starting from there elaborate an idea of philosophy It is the simultaneous experience of the holding and the held in all ordersFeel your right hand with your left hand which one is object and which one is subject? Now swap it in your head Apply to all senses Expand concept to ultimate epistemological layer philosophy itself


  7. says:

    A fascinating book but Phenomenology of Perception is definitely still Merleau Ponty's masterpiece Unfinished at the time of his untimely death only 53 this work was also arguably unfinishable Merleau Ponty may have set for himself an impossible task Increasingly dissatisfied with the philosophy of reflection to which phenomenology can be considered an heir he had no real idea what could follow it and he was too intellectually honest to impose a facile solutionNote the desperation in the passage below If therefore the reflection is not to presume upon what it finds and condemn itself to putting into the things what it will then pretend to find in them it must suspend the faith in the world only so as to see it only so as to read in it the route it has followed in becoming a world for us; it must seek in the world itself the secret of our perceptual bond with it It must use words not according to their pre established signification but in order to state this pre logical bond It must plunge into the world instead of surveying it it must descend towards it such as it is instead of working its back way up toward a prior possibility of thinking it which would impose on the world in advance the conditions for our control over it It must uestion the world it must enter into the forest of references that our interrogation arouses in it it must make it say finally what in its silence it means to say We know neither what exactly is this order and this concordance to the world to which we must entrust ourselves nor therefore what the enterprise will result in nor even if it is really possible


  8. says:

    After reading Phenomenology of Perception this book can deepen much of the investigations taken up there In my opinion it's largely consistent with it yet contextualizes the same train of thought with that 'state of non philosophy' we are in 'never has the crisis been so radical' It thus comes out highly polemical; though the main scapegoat is Sartre Husserl is also an important figure Merleau Ponty disputes Especially in the working notes one can see that his main inspiration is Heidegger though I bet those extensive parts on 'nothingness' could result in some minor differences between them tooThough that could prove to be a fruitful study for anyone embedded in the history of these ideas it's hard to distinguish a profound 'positive' statement in those discussions Especially crucial notions like 'depth' or 'dimensionality' simply do not really flesh out in all the discussion in the working notes and they're hardly present in the finished chapters 'The invisible' that enigmatic part of the title suffers from it though this book hints and points in the right direction Some of his thoughts in the working notes are so brilliant that they immediately promise a new outlook for philosophy yet it is hard to articulate what would make up its merits Regardless of that they often feel like a drag to plow through unearthing what Merleau Ponty is exactly rushing through when writing up these personal remindersAll considered I guess this is one for the fans like me


  9. says:

    This is not an easy book to read I probably only got about 35 40% of it to be perfectly honest Having a grounding in the work of the philosophers to whom Merleau Ponty is largely responding would have helped immensely; as it was I have only a moderate familiarity with Descartes and a surface understanding of Kant I had had no experience with Husserl If you're interested in reading this book I strongly recommend shoring up your background in these other thinkers firstThat said the moments in which the text became clear to me were breathtaking Merleau Ponty's view of the world and the ways in which affect it and are affected by it are mind boggling in both their complexity and their simplicity I won't say much because I'm sure that I'm not doing it justice but if you contemplate the act of living in the world or in the universe or in reality this book should open some new pathways for you


  10. says:

    Great