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In our time Ted Toadvine observes the philosophical uestion of nature is almost entirely forgotten—obscured in part by a myopic focus on solving environmental problems without asking how these problems are framed But an environmental crisis existing as it does in the human world of value and significance is at heart a philosophical crisis In this book Toadvine demonstrates how Maurice Merleau Ponty’s phenomenology has a special power to address such a crisis—a philosophical power far better suited to the uestions than other modern approaches with their over reliance on assumptions drawn from the natural sciencesThe book examines key moments in the development of Merleau Ponty’s philosophy of nature while roughly following the historical seuence of his major works Toadvine begins by setting out an ontology of nature proposed in Merleau Ponty’s first book The Structure of Behavior He takes up the theme of the expressive role of reflection in Phenomenology of Perception as it negotiates the area between nature’s own self unfolding and human subjectivity Merleau Ponty’s notion of intertwining and his account of space provide a transition to Toadvine’s study of the philosopher’s later work—in which the concept of chiasm the crossing or intertwining of sense and the sensible forms the key to Merleau Ponty’s mature ontology—and ultimately to the relationship between humans and nature


10 thoughts on “Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Nature

  1. says:

    071011 after reading definitions to words i never use dehiscence ipseity i was better able to read this this is metaphysics i do not know how much i ever get from work on or by m p but with the conclusion fresh in mind i feel an urge to suggest theme basically or basically as i can get this meditation on results of applying m p's thoughts on nature on embodied mind on the conseuently intertwined sense and sensibility of thought and being reaffirms certain core assertions of m p's phenomenology as derived from husserl such as ultimate impossibility of complete phenomenological reduction and further implications of being a body a mind resident and constituted by nature or something like thateven when i do not understand m p completely i derive an inspiring inescapable barrage of thought bombs i get something out of it i liked the distinction of the in itself for us in capturing the alterity and familiarity of our immediately experience world a world that is that surpasses descartes' methodological skepticism for logical examination of this work? i would need to read it again preferably with a prof philosopherdehiscence the release of materials by the splitting open of an organ or tissueipseity selfhood; individual identity