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 The Birth of Sense, Don Beith proposes a new concept of generative passivity, the idea that our organic, psychological, and social activities take time to develop into sense. More than being a limit, passivity marks out the way in which organisms, persons, and interbodily systems take time in order to manifest a coherent sense.

“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