Don Beith

Don Beith practices philosophy phenomenologically, researching the role of the body in self-identity and learning, the nature of interpersonal relationships, and existential concepts of health, care and authenticity. His work appears in Chiasmi, Continental Philosophy Review, Symposium, and elsewhere. He teaches at the University of Maine.




The Birth of Sense · Generative Passivity in Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy
By Don Beith

In proposing a new concept of generative passivity, Beith argues that in nature, meaning emerges prior to constituting activity or deterministic plans. He engages contemporary debates about evolution, biology, psychology, social constructivism, and critical race theory in an original phenomenological investigation in the style of Merleau-Ponty.

“This book is a timely contribution to scholarship on Merleau-Ponty’s work, considering the emerging focus in phenomenological literature on the significance of the dimension of passivity.… Beith advances a phenomenology of embodiment by going beyond a mere ‘corporeal essentialism’ to a focus that can engage with difference and oppression generally and issues of gender and race more specifically.”

Fiona Utley, University of New England, Australia