By Glen A. Mazis
Ahead of his dying in 1961, Merleau-Ponty fearful approximately what he observed as humanity s more and more self-enclosed and manipulative method of experiencing self, others, and the realm the results of which stay obvious in our damaging lack of ability to connect to others inside and throughout cultures. In Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World, Glen A. Mazis offers an total attention of Merleau-Ponty s philosophy that brings out what he sees as a corrective prescription for moral reorientation that's primary to Merleau-Ponty s inspiration. Mazis starts off via studying the main function that silence performs for Merleau-Ponty as a good, strong presence instead of a scarcity or vacancy, after which builds in this to discover the moral value of the face-to-face stumble upon in his concept as one in every of cohesion instead of legal responsibility. within the final a part of the booklet, Mazis strains the advance of what he calls physiognomic mind's eye in Merleau-Ponty s paintings. This knowing of mind's eye isn't really fancy or make-believe, yet fairly brings out the depths of perceptual that means and results in an appreciation of poetic language because the key to revitalizing either ethics and ontology. Drawing on Merleau-Ponty s released works, lecture notes, unpublished writings, and the paintings of many phenomenologists and Merleau-Ponty students, Mazis additionally deals incisive readings of Merleau-Ponty s paintings because it pertains to that of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Gaston Bachelard, and Emmanuel Levinas.
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Extra info for Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World: Silence, Ethics, Imagination, and Poetic Ontology
Yet there is a hush in the initial encounter with things insofar as the perceiver achieves a letting be of the perceived presenting itself. This silence is inseparable from a reticence on the part of the perceiver, a hesitation to impose well-worn labels of sense on what is encountered. To encounter the silence of the sleet is to refrain 24 Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World from dismissing it as “just another day of sleet,” and instead to be open to its announcement of what it is and means.
It is a nightmare, because our very existence as the beings who can witness and be open to a new sense of the world, history, and others will be devoured by being encompassed on all sides by a force against which we feel helpless, like the dreamer who encounters a monster. The monsters of nightmares come from the depths of our own feelings and imagination, and so does this historical predicament. This means that, as in a dream, we could envision other scenarios and allow imagining to go in other directions.
However, it is first important to note that MerleauPonty’s courage and doggedness in pursuing this fundamental inquiry into the sources of human meaning, similar to Socrates’s quest, make Merleau-Ponty’s thought particularly timely at our current moment in history. Merleau-Ponty could foresee that the forthcoming philosophical approaches of analyzing the social construction of meaning might give rise to a sense that the meaning of our lives is merely the result of social construction, which would mark a dead-end for individuals fighting these oppressive forces.
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