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Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Volume 5, Issue 1, 2013

21st-Century Metaphysics

William S. Hamrick
Pages 19-36

Minding Nature

This paper interprets and extends Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s unfinished ontology of flesh in order finally to settle accounts with the Cartesian legacy that has hung over Western metaphysics for the last three centuries. The essay does this by advancing Merleau-Ponty’s discussion of two closely intertwined topics—the relationship of consciousness and Nature and the meaningfulness of Nature itself. Among other things, the essay seeks to explain the emergence of consciousness from Nature and defends a view of consciousness as the mobilization of the powers of corporeity—including intercorporeity—to investigate, articulate, and creatively adumbrate Nature and Being as such. It does so by responding to natural resonances and rhythms, through intensities of feeling and the perception of possibilities.

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