Special Issue "Merleau-Ponty and Literature: In What Ways Does the Ontology of “the Flesh of the World” Marry Philosophy and Literature?"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2021) | Viewed by 11462
The developing ontology of Merleau-Ponty, which culminates in his articulation of the “flesh of the world” (commentators agree this is implicit in his early works) places humans in “a participation in and kinship with the visible, [such that] the vision neither envelops it nor is enveloped by it definitively … there is reciprocal insertion and intertwining of one in the other … two vortexes … the one slightly decentered with respect to the other” (as stated on page 138 of The Visible and the Invisible). This ontology means human beings can only be described through their opening to the world as enriched by an ever new sense. Rather than being a self-subsistent mind, human beings are fundamentally shaped in community with the things of the world, other people, cultures, times, creatures, and the natural world that the traditional idea of a human being as a surveying rational mind does not. How does this alter the expression of philosophy in relation to literature? If philosophical description must express the pre-reflective, felt, imaginal, and historical dimension of situated beings, how does this make philosophy dependent upon literature and render literature philosophical in new ways? If the reversibility of the flesh means our expression is an indirect expression of the “voices of silence” (Malraux’s phrase borrowed by Merleau-Ponty) of the gesturing world, how does this make metaphor central to both endeavors and transform the idea of metaphor itself? Lastly, how is the “vertical grasp” of sense, as Merleau-Ponty calls it in a working note, change the idea of the relationship of perception, imagination, and expression?
Dr. Glen A. Mazis
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- perceptual depths
- indirect expression
- processual temporality
- perceptual imaginal
- truth as manifestation
- imagination as ontology