Merleau-Ponty's Ontology eBook ð ↠ Epub multi

Originally published in 1988 MC Dillon's classic study of Merleau Ponty is now available in a revised second edition containing a new preface and a new chapter on Truth in Art Dillon's thesis is that Merleau Ponty has developed the first genuine alternative to ontological dualism seen in Western philosophy From his early work on the philosophical significance of the human body to his later ontology of flesh Merleau Ponty shows that the perennial problems growing out of dualistic conceptions of mind and body subject and object immanence and transcendence can be resolved within the framework of a new way of thinking based on the exemplar of the worldly embodiment of thought

10 thoughts on “Merleau-Ponty's Ontology (SPEP)

  1. says:

    190917 this is a much much later addition four years decided to read again 260917 well i have read it again faster longer sections as it has been six books by m p and 59 74 or so on or involving m p also other phenomenology continental historical indic philosophy read in years since and again great pleasure new reviews below220517 this is a much later addition as this review is incomplete i am wondering how to approach this text how to read again for this is not an academic but passion project this is something just for me and any of my efriends might be interested and perhaps i should find someone or somewhere to discuss this work on the other my obsessions with philosophy might now be deleuze and bergson and heidegger well maybe in the new year? maybe110113 first review incomplete this book reminds me of how much i love philosophy and of philosophy how much i love merleau ponty i needed this reminder after reading heidegger indeed in this review i wonder whether i can thereby i am impress how much i enjoyed reading this engaging exploration of how uniue and convincing is m p’s ontology i have a new favourite of m p but this definitely is not introductory this definitely benefits from all the previous readings of m p in particular and continental syllabus in generalperhaps it is best to remark that this is the first time i read it that i am neither prof or student that i am not studying this that all this review is first draft and not for class and therefore an appreciation than a critiue perhaps it is best to render this review essay according to the organization of parts and chapters in this bookintroduction the problem introduced by uoting socrates hearing the paradox of meno in which the concept of transcendence is forcefully denied in that if something is to be known either it cannot be known from beyond itself because 1 it must already be known it is immanent or 2 it cannot be known because we do not even know what it is we do not know it is transcendent in ontology we search for the saving foundation of what is the real in myth socrates replies that there is only the remembering of what we did know before birth but have forgotten but this is the problem dillon suggests is central to all conceptions of immanenttranscendent dualitypart one antecedents and conseuencesof course the entire history of philosophy must somehow go beyond this somehow go beyond mythic solutions to philosophical problem here descartes is the modern origin of the two major themes of answers to immanenttranscendent way of being ontology– that continues to dominate recent philosophy this book is from 1988 so maybe they have moved on from this but aside from dismissive comments about post modernismstructuralism and futility of semiology etc dillon does not address this other thread of thought i have not read enough derrida to know but his comments are convincing and m p’s ontology seems much promisingcartesian origins empiricism and intellectualism here in searching for some way to find the saving foundation of what is the real there is what is to me an arresting contention that descartes’ methodological doubt the core uoted as ‘i think therefore i am’ as beyond doubt as foundation for what is– is actually an abstraction an original error a logical myth and is indeed only clear and distinct as such whereas what is is much bumpier irregular and shows in m p’s great essential home term ambiguity descartes ignores this ambiguity and so creates that original schism of the real into dualities into appearance and reality into subject and object into thought and matter into immanent and transcendent this underlying unthought unnoticed ontological error that is genesis for all conceptions of the realempiricism all knowledge comes from experience that is sourced by transcendence the world the objective as against ourselves as the self the subjective who is a spectator distinct from all sensory perceptions which are incorrigible distinct atoms however complex or multiple who is free from burdening innate ideas as these are obviously not ‘out there’ to be perceived experience is the saving foundation of what is the realintellectualism all knowledge comes from thought that is sourced by immanence the self the subjective rather than the world imperfectly certain by sensory perception and once again as spectator for whom any transcendent perception is possibly mistaken but the immanent thought is immediate and thus transparent as this certainty is developed from kant to husserl thought can be understood as the saving foundation of what is the realparadox of transcendence immanence so faced by these sedimented concepts what does m p decide? rather than one over the other he argues with his ontology for bothand neither i have read a lot of philosophy by now but this answer has the same great pleasure i felt so many years and books past when i first read kant’s intellectualism response to the radical skepticism of hume and of course kant has since been superseded? m p? well the innovations of thought m p uses to surpass the paradox that this book shows as continued elaboration from his earliest phenomenology of perception to the visible and invisible that he was working on when he died is to deny that persisting cartesian reduction and subseuent dualities he re unites the real from dualities from subject and object from thought and matter from immanent and transcendent into his insistence of embodied consciousness his ontology described here seems the saving foundation of what is the realhere is a great m p uote 'the perceived world is the always presupposed foundation of all rationality all value and all existence'thesis of the primacy of perception this sounds like empiricism but note the difference the sensory the self is now thought of not as a spectator not distinct from the world the objective but correctly as always already embedded in what it perceives this is a great concise engaging chapter that describes m p’s essential epistemological conception that manages to overcome all those dualities a synthesis that integrates and surpasses towards a greater truth a chapter i reread simply for intellectual pleasure dillon even throws in a few helpful diagrams it is properly a phenomenological theory as derived from husserl because it insists on the ontological primacy of phenomenon what is– though it is not intellectual description not ideal form what is perceived is not something that is distinct sense or idea not atoms of empiricism what then?ontological implications of gestalt theory i am familiar with gestalt theory indeed in my art days it seemed obvious that every notation or emptiness on the drawing offered something of meaning to the whole that there was no unused space that all elements of an image might have no meaning but in final composition i like m p because he philosophically values art like heidegger maybe even overstating it but this was art i do not remember when i first drew anything but i do remember something of a car i did when i was ten or so and how important it was that it resembled what a photograph would offer this representational fidelity of course failing in many ways but an attitude that never left as i grew up but this was art it is only in reading this particular chapter that i fully realize gestalt theory as originary impulse of m p’s epistemological and ontological thesis of primacy of perception art does after all have something to do with the world the implication of gestalt here is that what is perceived can never be reduced to clear and distinct atoms of sensory elements as such the perceiver is never separate from what is perceived as such all those dualities of other ontologies collapse all is reunitedpart two implicit ontology of phenomenology of perceptionphenomenal world unstated essential core tenet of m p’s ontology is the phenomenology of perception this will be later used as title this is not remarked in his earlier work but the epistemological correlate of primacy of perception presupposes it to some degree m p was perhaps hampered in his thoughts by his phenomenological inheritance from husserl and sartre words that carry unnoticed the thought of dualities– of consciousness of intentionality– that he will replace in his thinking only in the later work the phenomenal worldthe objective world here dillon raises the conception of how these are not the same trying to free thought from this chimera of some overall perspective trying to explain that the phenomenal world is prior to either subjective or objective again using helpful diagram here m p insists on the original anonymity of perception where it is not i see the tree but the tree is seen and i happen to be attuned to this but i do not create the world perceived idealism as much as not receive the world empiricism but the world is what is perceived there is no methodological doubt no deception only partiality which can be altered by our embodied consciousness say moving to another perspective revealing another side the problem with objective world is that it says the world is what is but cannot verify its truth because there is no perception other than a mediation of perspectives this is when m p talks about the tree sees me as i see the tree not literally with eyes but literally as being of the same world what in later work he refers to as fleshhere is where i ended first time 110113 so here is new review 260917consciousness and here is where m p incorporates and surpasses the ontology of intellectualism this contrasts the 'deifiers' of soulconsciousness such as descartes kant husserl with the 'defilers' of soulconsciousness such as nietzsche heidegger sartre whereas the first attitude leads to the ideal of cause the world original as separate the second falling back into the world as nothing emptiness again separate but m p makes the soulconsciousness embodied in the world and not separate from sartre m p takes the idea of the 'tacit cogito' that necessarily 'is able to' is perception is non reflective is foundation before exactly how reflective consciousness comes where dualisms spawn easily such as objectsubject immanencetranscendence animateinanimate m p recognizes his error in starting from the cartesian concept of consciousness object distinction and it is only by proposing a third way between substance and thought that his thought can progress here the implicit ontology is based on thesis of primacy of perception not separable as if only the sensed is real but that there is no gap no representation but the world of being is immediately perceived intersubjectivity this is the uestionpuzzle that absorbs many philosophers in continental and other traditions the uestion of how solipsism is to be avoided and this is than a simple philosophical mistake but an entire misconception for if we start by separating self from world we do not realize that there must be adeuate coherence of both intra and interpersonal both the private self and the shared world basically why make problems where they do not in our living exist? the classic text for phenomenology is husserl's 'Fifth Cartesian Meditation' for if self and other are essentially reduced to private interior thought to immanence which by definition cannot be known by others this reuires 'empathy' reuires 'pairing' that preconceives the other as oneself as much as self yourself dillon calls this a 'noble failure' this reuires a 'corporeal schema' that must be transferred on perception of the other but unfortunately this only proves what it assumes that the object pairs with the subject from our perspective and m p investigates through developmental child psychology how we find ourselves aware of these distinctions rather than start from them lived body this begins with kant's most influential concept of transcendental idealism in which organization of the world must start must follow categories of immanence in this way privileges thought over sense and here is the core the conception that differs m p from previous philosophies in borrowing and extending husserl's 'lived world' to the 'lived body' for the body is not simply residence of consciousness but also perspective source determining 'how' we experience the world m p recounts the experience of difference as evidenced by brain injured patient between 'pointing' and 'grasping' that is abstract ignorance and practical knowledge how the first reuires deliberately dividing self from world and the second understanding through 'primordial' sense and therefore not abstract not 'known' by separate consciousness the body is necessary here m p refers argues with Sartre and this is perhaps one reason i so liked this text when first read for i did know some and wanted another view sartre tends to sense the other as 'for me' m p sees the other as 'part' me in the 'double sensation' of one hand touching another s posits an complete incommunical gap where one side is subject and the other is object and never both m p disputes this for him it is exactly how the hand is both is ambiguous never resolved into one or the other and the key is the lived body the perceptual capabilities of the body need not remove it from the phenomenonal world and transform it into a transcendent subject the body is part of the world is lived body in the world how else could we learn but in the world? how else could we have connection between transcendent and immanencepart three explicit ontology of the visible and the invisiblereversibility thesis here dillon refers to 'the visible and the invisible' as organized by claude lefort a work i had not read the first review but have now posthumous incomplete work to which m p has been headed towards throughout his thought evolution for here m p speaks of exactly that perceptual ontology and calls it the 'flesh' this is beyond my reading then perhaps beyond my understanding now it seems m p is arguing with s with what he calls 'high altitude thought' that tries and fails to reconcile our lived experience with either transcendent or immanent the 'for itself' the 'in itself' m p creates the 'chiasm' for me the image of crossed optic nerves resolving in one image of the 'flesh' which is both substance and style there is the truth of what we sense the truth of how we sense perception is thought perception precedes self or rather creates world and self there is no reliable way of deciding our stance as one subject or object but that of reversibility which is extended from hand on hand to painter's eye to tree it is not that the tree 'sees' through eyes in the same way human eyes see it but m p is decentering is recasting reversing our perceptual ontology from one to an anonymous perception we are attuned to the tree is visible' to us only because we are 'visible' to it and this is based sedimented on the 'invisible' which is not a nothingness but a 'fold' in the very real phenomenonal world which leads to his arguments with semiological reductionlanguage dillon is most interesting here in arguments against semiological reduction against the ideal all our thought can only be limited characterized by limitations of our language m p precedes this but offers arguments against what d calls 'post hermeneutical scepticism' of heidegger as extended by some continental philosophy that would have unmoored language from reference to the endless 'deferring' for m p this is not only against the entire purpose of language but a mistake of the transfer from gestural language to speech to art all attempts that 'refer' to 'truth' rather than just itself dillon uses a few useful diagrams to illustrate the 'founding' model of language by which original expressed thought becomes 'sedimented' which then returns to perception of another original expression and so on and so on perception is where this cycle begins and returns and begins again all perception is foundation truth within culture from development of child of language of thought d then uses to indicate the reversible relations between body perception language thought signifier signified being Being this i can only understand as the way we humans live the perceptual world how truth is not in language but in the source founding perceived world that founds it and how we originate our trend to truth in philosophy as in the artsconclusion dillon here refers to the ontological sources which must be confronted through nietzsche and heidegger 'the abyss' and 'the logos' there is n saying that there is no final ground h concurs but uses language as the answer m p uses h but searches for something that grounds the ungrounded that is language and rather than the abyss uses the invisible as source of all human thought which is all perception or something like this by this point i have tried to capture some sense of why this book is a five on first reading and now five years later does he resolve the paradox of immanence transcendence? by accepting both by seeing the one transcendence as 'what' and the other immanence as 'how' m p has reached the point when he died of the 'somehow' that unifies the two this point works for me and is why i love m p he is kind of unfinished his work inspiring his work necessarily calling for further elucidation m p does not propose a 'system' but attends to our lived experience through all its ambiguity which to me appears sensible and humble and real i have read much philosophy since the first time i read this and perhaps my thoughts have moved on but i still value this beginning if there is one thing m p has said in all his work it is as uoted above 'the perceived world is the always presupposed foundation for all rationality all value and all existence' in other words perception is ontology this is the 'chiasm' of the 'flesh' necessary to this is the awareness of 'embodied consciousness' through which subjectobject is inherent is in the world here is where i add from other work read since as well as this the world is not 'objective' not a 'view from nowhere' but always a view from 'many wheres' that creates the abstraction the 'achievement' of objectivity not where we start but where we end and these perceptions are not atomistic not sense data not uale but within our organic perception as gestalt of figures and ground ambiguous and reversible and so it is always already from perception we found sense i do not believe i understand it or m p completely but it reminds me of why i love his thoughts this is not merely analytical logic but rather the engaging artistic sense of the world i am not a scientist i am not a philosopher i am an interested amateursupplement this second edition also has this 'homage to m p' in the form of an interesting essay on a particular sculpture that can be viewed as an 'application' of insights from m p the sculptor is john McCarty and is articulate in words as well as work though m p uses painting as his model rather as heidegger uses poetry language has a 'ductility' but images have 'the voices of silence' and so is less based on that particular concept of abyss is less captive to limits of expression but is by its nature all expression as such this work is its own 'system of truth' having no particular sedimented conceptual ground but only itself this is a great supplement now i want to experience this work

  2. says:

    This is an incredibly lucid book on Merleau Ponty's ontology Dillon is an exceptional scholar who does an exceptional job Like Caputo's treatment of Heidegger in Radical HermeneuticsDillon strives for clarity in laying out the structural force and philosophical interest of Merleau Ponty's works A great way to get introduced to and learn about one of the 20th Century's most underrated phenomenologists

  3. says:

    A magnum opus in its own right this is the definitive backdrop for Merleau Ponty studies An introduction it is not but a comprehensive interpretation of M P's project and the resources it can provide for contemporary philosophical issues Dillon's thesis is that M P provides the only alternative to the dualism that besets Western philosophy One for the drudgers but certainly insightful and commanding

  4. says:

    a really nice book if you're into this sort of thing dillon argues twenty years ago that the ontology merleau ponty had begun but never finished developing is a way out of the dualistic metaphysical uagmires that culminated in the works of the analytical linguist philosophers the postmodernists and the sartrean existentialistsit's long and dense but if you're interested in merleau ponty it's one of the best expositions and exegeses of his work that i've come across

  5. says:

    Dillon's Merleau Ponty's Ontology is a well written and well argued Dillon holds as due I if anyone was curious that Merleau Ponty's earlier phenomenological studies give way to his ontology not in the sense of a reversal but in the sense of a completion of his philosophical project A good read for one interested in Merleau Ponty ontology and the unfinished The Visible and the Invisible

  6. says:

    Fantastic ontology work that is not an easy read but worth the effort There are some Greek and German termsphrases that the author assumes the reader knows Parenthetical translation of these into English would teach them to the unfamiliar or novice reader Having the internet close by helps