This collection is the first extended investigation of the relation between time and memory in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s thought as a whole as well as the first to explore in depth the significance of his concept of institution. It brings the French phenomenologist’s views on the self and ontology into contemporary focus.
Edmund Husserl, founder of the phenomenological movement, is usually read as an idealist in his metaphysics and an instrumentalist in his philosophy of science. In Nature’s Suit, Lee Hardy argues that both views represent a serious misreading of Husserl’s texts.
Christine Buci-Glucksmann’s The Madness of Vision is one of the most influential studies in phenomenological aesthetics of the baroque. Integrating the work of Merleau-Ponty with Lacanian psychoanalysis, Renaissance studies in optics, and twentieth-century mathematics, the author asserts the materiality of the body and world in her aesthetic theory. All vision is embodied vision, with the body and the emotions continually at play on the visual field.
M. C. Dillon (1938–2005) was widely regarded as a world-leading Merleau-Ponty scholar. His book Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology (1988) is recognized as a classic text that revolutionized the philosophical conversation about the great French phenomenologist. Dillon followed that book with two others: Semiological Reductionism, a critique of early-1990s linguistic reductionism, and Beyond Romance, a richly developed theory of love.
In The Tenets of Cognitive Existentialism, Dimitri Ginev draws on developments in hermeneutic phenomenology and other programs in hermeneutic philosophy to inform an interpretative approach to scientific practices. At stake is the question of whether it is possible to integrate forms of reflection upon the ontological difference in the cognitive structure of scientific research. A positive answer would have implied a proof that (pace Heidegger) “science is able to think.”
Transversality is the keyword that permeates the spirit of these thirteen essays spanning almost half a century, from 1965 to 2009. The essays are exploratory and experimental in nature and are meant to be a transversal linkage between phenomenology and East Asian philosophy. Transversality is the concept that dispels all ethnocentrisms, including Eurocentrism.
World-renowned analytic philosophers John McDowell and Robert Brandom, dubbed “Pittsburgh Neo-Hegelians,” recently engaged in an intriguing debate about perception. In The Intentional Spectrum and Intersubjectivity Michael D. Barber is the first to bring phenomenology to bear not just on the perspectives of McDowell or Brandom alone, but on their intersection.
Dead Letters to Nietzsche examines how writing shapes subjectivity through the example of Nietzsche’s reception by his readers, including Stanley Rosen, David Farrell Krell, Georges Bataille, Laurence Lampert, Pierre Klossowski, and Sarah Kofman. More precisely, Joanne Faulkner finds that the personal identification that these readers form with Nietzsche’s texts is an enactment of the kind of identity-formation described in Lacanian and Kleinian psychoanalysis.
Classical phenomenology has suffered from an individualist bias and a neglect of the communicative structure of experience, especially the phenomenological importance of the addressee, the inseparability of I and You, and the nature of the alternation between them.
In Prophetic Politics, Philip J. Harold offers an original interpretation of the political dimension of Emmanuel Levinas's thought. Harold argues that Levinas’s mature position in Otherwise Than Being breaks radically with the dialogical inclinations of his earlier Totality and Infinity and that transformation manifests itself most clearly in the peculiar nature of Levinas's relationship to politics.
Kant scholars since the early nineteenth century have disagreed about how to interpret his theory of moral motivation. Kant tells us that the feeling of respect is the incentive to moral action, but he is notoriously ambiguous on the question of what exactly this means. In Kant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral Action, Iain Morrisson offers a new view on Kant’s theory of moral action.
Rational Animals: The Teleological Roots of Intentionality offers an original account of the intentionality of human mental states, such as beliefs and desires. The account of intentionality in Rational Animals is broadly biological in its basis, emphasizing the continuity between human intentionality and the levels of intentionality that should be attributed to animal actions and states.
The concept of “flesh” in philosophical terms derives from the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. This was the word he used to name the concrete realm of sentient bodies and life processes that has been eclipsed by the abstractions of science, technology, and modern culture. Topology, to conventional understanding, is the branch of mathematics that concerns itself with the properties of geometric figures that stay the same when the figures are stretched or deformed.
While there have been many essays devoted to comparing the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty with that of Jacques Derrida, there has been no sustained book-length treatment of these two French philosophers. Additionally, many of the essays presuppose an oppositional relationship between them, and between phenomenology and deconstruction more generally.
The great American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson and the influential German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, though writing in different eras and ultimately developing significantly different philosophies, both praised the individual's wish to be transformed, to be fully created for the first time. Emerson and Nietzsche challenge us to undertake the task of identity on our own, in order to see (in Nietzsche's phrase) “how one becomes what one is.”