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161. Chiasmi International: Volume > 15
Emmanuel Alloa The Diacritical Nature of Meaning: Merleau-Ponty With Saussure
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“What we have learned from Saussure” affirms Merleau-Ponty “is that, taken singly, signs do not signify anything, and that each one of them does not so much express a meaning as mark a divergence of meaning between itself and other signs.” While it has often been stressed that Merleau-Ponty was arguably among the earliest philosophical readers of Saussure, the real impact of this reading on Merleau-Ponty’s thinking has rarely been assessed in detail. By focusing on the middle period – the years between the publication of the Phenomenology of Perception and the abandonment of the book project The Prose of the World – a special interest in language and its ideality becomes all the more evident. Now this period is crucial for understanding the turn of the later years: similarly to Saussure, who shifted the problem of meaning from a problem of referentiality to an issue of self-differentiation of the linguistic field, Merleau-Ponty shifts his account of perception from a relationship based on sensory subjects and perceived objects to an immanent differentiation of the sensible world. The genesis ofan articulated world can be conceptualized with the experience of children’s language acquisition and the phenomenon of “deflation.” At a certain point in her development, the child interrupts her incessant babbling and learns to shape pauses and silences, which are the precondition for meaningful sounds. Learning how to speak – as it were – would thus be learning how not to speak. The child may only enter a specific language by means of a phonematic restriction; to become a member of a language community is to lose the capacity to speak all languages.
162. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Laura McMahon The Phantom Organic: Merleau-Ponty and the “Psychoanalysis of Nature”
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In a working note to The Visible and the Invisible (1964), Maurice Merleau-Ponty makes an enigmatic call for “a psychoanalysis of Nature.” This paper argues that there are two interrelated ways in which this call might be taken up. First, it might be taken as the demand to give voice to the deep sense of a nature, conceived in terms of unconscious desire rather than scientific rationality, that precedes and exceeds human life. Second, we might do a psychoanalysis of our relationship to nature, of the ways in which modern thought tends to deny and repress the unconscious, organic desire at its heart. This paper addresses the psychoanalysis of nature in both these senses. The first part of this paper takes up Merleau-Ponty’s well-known discussion of the phantom limb in Phenomenology of Perception (1945) in order to give a critique the mind-body dualism implicit in traditional attempts to account for this and related phenomena, and in order to present Merleau-Ponty’s own account of the phantom limb in terms of being in the world. Second, I argue that being in the world requires that we repress not only aspects of our personal pasts, but also our organic nature itself. Third, I argue that much of modern scientific thinking tends to deny the bodily and unconscious dimensions of conscious life—it is this denial that calls for a psychoanalysis in the second sense of studying our troubled and repressive relationship to nature. This denial of our own naturalness is accompanied by a denial of the unconscious and irrational nature of nature itself; finally, I will speak to the ways in which psychoanalysis might go further back than we might expect—beyond our childhoods and to the organic heartbeat of life itself.
163. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Dylan Trigg The Role of the Earth in Merleau-Ponty’s Archaeological Phenomenology
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This paper argues that the concept of the Earth plays a pivotal role in Merleau-Ponty’s thinking in two ways. First, the concept assumes a special importance in terms of Merleau-Ponty’s relation to Husserl via the fragment known as “The Earth Does Not Move.” Two, from this fragment, the Earth marks a key theme around which Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy revolves. In particular, it is with the concept of the Earth that Merleau-Ponty will develop his archaeologically oriented phenomenology. To defend this claim, the paper unfolds in three stages. First, I provide a preliminary reading of Husserl’s fragment, focusing in particular on the co-constitution of body and Earth. Two, I turn to Merleau-Ponty’s interpretations of this fragment, especially in the lectures on nature and then in the later lectures on Husserl. From these varying interpretations, the germs of Merleau-Ponty’s archaeological phenomenology are conceived. Accordingly, in the final part of the paper, I claim that Merleau-Ponty’s account of the Earth is Husserlian insofar as it reinforces the primordial “ground (sol) of experience” but at the same time marks a departure from Husserl insofar as the Earth registers a brute or wild layer that resists phenomenology.
164. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Luca Vanzago Raw Being and the Darkness of Nature. On Merleau-Ponty’s Appropriation of Schelling
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In this article, we will reflect on the theoretical strategy implemented by Merleau-Ponty in his reading of Schelling. The purpose is not to verify the philological accuracy of his reading, but rather to examine two different yet interconnected questions: on the one hand, to study the sense Schelling’s concept of Nature takes in Merleau-Ponty’s ontological project; on the other, to discuss the role that Schelling’s philosophy effectively plays in the way that Merleau-Ponty approaches the problem of Nature. These two questions should not be equated, since the first aspect concerns the evaluation of Merleau-Ponty’s project and thus of the specific function played by his reading of Schelling in the ontology of the flesh. The second, however, concerns the problems raised by this very project, which will appear more clearly if we consider Schelling’s philosophy in its general development, over and above what is said by Merleau-Ponty. In fact, he has a tendency to privilege the early Schelling, closer to Hegel and to speculative idealism, but he only makes a few allusions to the more mature ideas, which Schelling mainly explains in the unfinished treatise on the ages of the world, from which Merleau-Ponty draws, nevertheless, the theme of the barbarous principle. The task, consequently, is to understand the extent to which Merleau-Ponty was able to incorporate the “abyssal” value of this notion, developed by Schelling especially when he sought to distance himself from his own transcendental idealist philosophy.We will thus ask whether Merleau-Ponty’s reading is partial, and if we can find, nonetheless, certain indications that show at which point he was able to take up the direction in which Schelling addressed the theme of Nature as barbarous principle. At stake is the question of the negativity, the latency, the opacity of Nature. In the first part of the essay, we briefly explain Merleau-Ponty’s interpretation of Schelling in his course on Nature at the Collège de France in 1956-1957. In the second part, we present an interpretation of Schelling’s notion of the barbarous principle in light of the treatise on the ages of the world, and in particular the second draft, which is more speculative and audacious. In the third part, finally, we propose an interpretation of Merleau-Ponty’s position which can show us, at least indirectly, how the notion of flesh can recognize Schelling’s theoretical indications in their more pessimistic and radical valence, centered on the notion of de-cision (Ent-Scheidung) as ontological divide. While not clearly argued, in part due to the nature of the unfinished manuscript of The Visible and the Invisible, this notion is given an implicit treatment in this work that helps deepen the interpretation of the ontology of the flesh in the sense of a renewed mediation on negativity.
165. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Leonard Lawlor Nascency and Memory: Reflections on Véronique Fóti’s Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty
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This is a review essay on Véronique Fóti’s Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty. It attempts to display the pattern that constitutes “the in filigree tracings” of Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty. In other words, it reconstructs the conceptual features that go into the “unthought” of expression that Véronique Fóti has given us. The reconstruction takes place in two steps. The first reconstructs the concept of expression itself as Fóti sees it in Merleau-Ponty’s thought. Here, we follow Fóti’s analysis and resolution of what Merleau-Ponty himself called “the paradox of expression.” Fóti’s “resolution” of the paradox takes us then to a second step, in which we determine Fóti’s “radicalization” of the paradox. The radicalization of the paradox takes place through specific criticisms that Fóti levels against Merleau-Ponty’s writings on painting. These criticisms allow us to see that the unthought of expression lies in nascency. Fóti’s new concept of expression revolves around the idea of nascency. Nascency allows Fóti not only to envision a metaphysics of expression but also and especially an ethics. However, Fóti’s stress of nascency raises a difficult question that she does not pose. While the word “nascency” appears countless times in Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty, the word “death,” as far as I can tell, appears only twice in the entire book. I argue that the absence of death in Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty conjoined with the stress of nascency opens out onto the question of memory, hence the title of my presentation, “Nascency and Memory.” Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty exhibits a compelling combination of modesty and ambition. Undoubtedly, the modesty results from Fóti’s long-standing devotion to Merleau-Ponty’s thought. This devotion, however, did not stop her from recognizing the “failures” of Merleau-Ponty’s thinking. The ability to see beyond the thinking to which one is most devoted is truly one of the marks of a great philosopher.
166. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Frank Chouraqui On Rajiv Kaushik’s Art, Language and Figure in Merleau-Ponty: Excursions in Hyper-Dialectic
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Rajiv Kaushik’s Art, Language and Figure in Merleau-Ponty continues the work begun last year in Art and Institution by exploring the ontological grounds upon whichMerleau-Ponty locates the continuity of philosophy with the visual arts. The mission and the privilege of art are to allow the invisible to appear in its own terms. As such, artpossesses the potential of completing the endeavors of philosophy by bringing the world to expression without abusively bringing it to visibility. Kaushik’s analyses of Merleau-Ponty’s concept of “figural philosophy,” of the relevance of Merleau-Ponty’s reading of Saussure for his philosophy of art, and of the dynamic and ontological potential contained in the tracing of a line are profound and each makes decisive contributions to the study of Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetics. In addition to these, Kaushik’s analysis of artworks and artists such as Cy Twombly allow him to make this more than a book about Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy or a book about art; it is a book that enacts their continuity as it describes it, in true hyper-dialectical fashion.
167. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Kathleen Hulley, Donald A. Landes Phenomenology, Ontology, and the Arts: Reading Jessica Wiskus’s The Rhythm of Thought
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Jessica Wiskus’s book The Rhythm of Thought: Art, Literature, and Music (University of Chicago Press, 2013) is a fascinating study of Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy inrelation to the artistic expression of Mallarmé, Cézanne, Proust, and Debussy. By invoking examples from across the arts and citations from across Merleau-Ponty’soeuvre, Wiskus provides us with a style for reading some of Merleau-Ponty’s difficult late concepts, including noncoincidence, institution, essence, and transcendence.In this review, we explore some of the key concepts and insights of Wiskus’s rich, interdisciplinary book and offer some places where the depth that it opens up perhapsinvites further exploration.
168. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Information
169. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Introduction
170. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Véronique M. Fóti Neither Pure Nascency nor Mortality: Crossing-Out Absolutes in the Event of Presencing
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Since both these readings of Tracing Expression converge on a number of focal issues, namely the diacriticity and creativity of expression, memory, temporality, and the trace, the relation of artistic creation to the proto-artistic creativity of nature, and the elemental or what Toadvine calls “the end of the world,” I enter into dialogue with both interlocutors on these issues.Given the differential character of expression and the silences that permeate the sedimentation that it draws upon, nothing is replicatively bodied forth by it, and itsspontaneity remains intact. While Lawlor suggests that a fundamental negation is at the core of of manifestation, I call attention to the need to guard against absolutizing the negative or giving it a “secondary positivity.”I do not think that there is any fundamental tension, for Merleau-Ponty, between nascency and memory, given that sedimentation, as “the trace of the forgotten” remains efficacious as the exigency of a future. The basic character of the trace is not that of a mere residue but is akin to the archē-trace; and the past that it refers to iis immemorial. It is important, in this context, to bear in mind the event- and the field-character of institution.I do not think that my emphasis on the autonomy of art breaks the contitnuity between art and the proto-artistic creativity of nature. Firstly, Merleau-Ponty’s ownunderstanding of painting as a “secret science” (which I am critical of) interrogatively addresses, not perceptual configurations, but “wild being” and thus presencing itself, whereas the autonomy I call attention to is not a pure transcendence. Indeed, Merleau-Ponty, in “Cézanne’s Doubt,” stresses that Cézanne’s approach to his work undercuts conceptual dichotomies (such as immanence and transcendence).As concerns an understanding of non-figurative painting as an initmation of “the end of the world,” understood as a return to the pure elements in a paroxysm of sheer materiality, I voice three reservations. These concern, firstly, any unitary understanding of “world,” secondly a reductive understanding of the primordial elements, and thirdly that there cannot be any genuine art in the absence of perceptual configuration, or in sheer formlessness. Notwithstanding these reservations, however, I am profoundly appreciative of Lawlor’s and Toadvine’s intellectually engaged and perceptive readings of Tracing Expression.
171. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Angelica Nuzzo Merleau-Ponty and Classical German Philosophy: Transcendental Philosophy after Kant
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This essay examines the presence of Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel in Merleau-Ponty’s thought. The perspective adopted here is methodological. Central to this is the choice of “transcendental phenomenology,” understood as a rehabilitation of the idealism and subjectivism proper to the transcendentalism of Kant and Fichte—the choice by which Merleau-Ponty refuses to abandon transcendental philosophy, like Hegel on the contrary did with his dialectical-speculative philosophy, and follows instead the phenomenological perspective suggested for the first time by Schelling.
172. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Ted Toadvine Diacritics of the Inexpressible: Tracing Expression with Véronique Fóti
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Véronique Fóti’s Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty demonstrates how the problem of expression motivates and unifies Merleau-Ponty’s investigations of art, life, nature, and ontology, culminating in a timely conception of nature as a differential expressive matrix. The key to this expressive ontology is diacritical difference. We raise three questions for this diacritical ontology: how it embodies the memory of the world, how it is interrupted by transcendence, and how it dissolves into elementality. Our inquiry points towards a diacritics of the inexpressible.
173. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
David Morris Bringing Phenomenology Down to Earth: Passivity, Development, and Merleau-Ponty’s Transformation of Philosophy
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I suggest how Merleau-Pontian sense hinges on an ontology in which passivity and what I call “development” are fundamental. This means, though, that the possibility of philosophy cannot be guaranteed in advance: philosophy is a joint operation of philosophers and being, and is radically contingent on a pre-philosophical field. Merleau-Ponty thus transforms philosophy, revealing a philosophy of tomorrow: a new way of doing philosophy that, because it is grounded in pre-reflective contingency, has to wait to describe its beginnings, and so has to keep studying its beginnings tomorrow. This does not destroy Husserl’s project of a transcendental philosophy, it just accepts that the transcendental conditions of philosophy cannot be constituted or even revealed via wholly active or autonomous reflection. Merleau-Ponty thus brings phenomenology down to earth by expanding it into a phenomenology of life and earth that describes the concrete beginnings of phenomena and phenomenology.
174. Chiasmi International: Volume > 17
Leonard Lawlor Introduction
175. Chiasmi International: Volume > 17
Mauro Carbone, Federico Leoni, Ted Toadvine Note From the Editorial Team
176. Chiasmi International: Volume > 17
Anna Petronella Foultier Incarnated Meaning and the Notion of Gestalt in Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology
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Although it is well known that Gestalt theory had an important impact on Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy throughout his career, there is still no detailed study either of its influence on his ideas or of his own understanding of the notoriously polysemic notion of Gestalt. Yet, this notion is a key to Merleau-Ponty’s fundamental project of overcoming “objective thought” and its inherent dichotomies. By indicating how signification or ideality can be immanent in, rather than opposed to, matter, it compels us to redefine both consciousness and the world it is bound up with. The aim of this article is to clarify Merleau-Ponty’s notion of Gestalt against the historical background that he refers to, including Kurt Goldstein’s theory of the organism that was crucial for his interpretation of it.On sait que la théorie de la Gestalt a eu un impact majeur sur la philosophie merleaupontienne. Il n’existe pourtant pas d’étude extensive de l’influence de cette théorie sur les thèses de Merleau-Ponty ou sur sa compréhension propre de la notion fort polysémique de Gestalt. Or cette notion s’avère être l’une des meilleures clés pour comprendre le projet fondamental du dépassement merleau-pontien de la « pensée objective » et de ses dichotomies. En effet, en montrant comment le sens ou l’idéalité sont immanents, plutôt qu’opposés, à la matière, la Gestalt conduit à définir à nouveaux frais la conscience et le monde auquel elle est liée. L’article vise à clarifier la conception de la Gestalt chez Merleau-Ponty à partir de son fond historique. On étudie en particulier la théorie de l’organisme de Kurt Goldstein, qui a été essentielle pour l’interprétation merleaupontienne de la notion de Gestalt.Benché sia noto che la Gestalttheorie abbia avuto un impatto rilevante sull’intero tragitto della filosofia di Merleau-Ponty, non esiste ancora uno studio dettagliato dell’influenza del gestaltismo sulle sue idee né sulla sua comprensione di un concetto notoriamente sfaccettato come quello di Gestalt. Tuttavia proprio questa nozione costituisce una chiave d’accesso fondamentale al grande progetto merleaupontyano di oltrepassare il “pensiero oggettivo” insieme alle dicotomie che lo accompagnano. Indicando come il significato o l’idealità possano essere immanenti, anziché opposti, alla materia, tale nozione ci obbliga a ridefinire tanto la coscienza quanto il mondo a cui essa è legata. L’obiettivo di questo articolo è quello di chiarire la nozione merleaupontyana di Gestalt nel suo contesto storico, con particolare riferimento alla teoria dell’organismo elaborata da Kurt Goldstein, determinante per l’interpretazione merleaupontyana della nozione di Gestalt.
177. Chiasmi International: Volume > 17
Catherine Malabou Phantom Limbs and Plasticity: Merleau-Ponty and Current Neurobiology
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When it comes to the body, to life, to the issue of being a living body in this world, it is of primary importance to give up what Merleau-Ponty calls “intellectualist psychology” as well as “idealist philosophy,” and to stress the empirical biological dimension of our existential situation. Merleau-Ponty insists on the necessity to take into account the most recent biological and neurobiological discoveries. This double approach constitutes the singularity and uniqueness of the Phenomenology of Perception. My first issue here is to interrogate what currently remains from this approach by confronting it to the neurobiological one. I will situate the confrontation in the specific context of two neural pathologies that cause profound modifications of the body schema. First, phantom pains and phantom limbs, second anosognosia. Merleau-Ponty sees these pathologies as new versions of the Freudian concept of disavowal or psychic refusal. Neurobiologists deprive them of any unconscious dimension. Are we then facing a conflict between meaning and absence of meaning, or does current neurobiology confer a new and unexpected future to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology?Cet article examine le rapport entre l’ouvrage classique de Merleau-Ponty, Phénoménologie de la perception, et les récentes découvertes de la neurobiologie. Plus précisément, l’étude de Catherine Malabou analyse le nouveau sens du sens chez Merleau-Ponty – qu’elle considère comme plus riche que celui que promeut la neurobiologie. L’auteure affirme néanmoins que le sens du sens chez Merleau-Ponty et celui de la neurobiologie sont plus proches qu’il ne semble. C’est pourquoi elle soutient qu’un dialogue authentique est possible entre la neurobiologie actuelle et les résultats de la Phénoménologie de la perception.Quando si tratta del corpo, della vita, dell’essere un corpo vivo in questo mondo, è fondamentale abbandonare quella che Merleau-Ponty definisce “psicologia intellettualistica” o anche “filosofia idealista”, e mettere in rilievo la dimensione empirica e biologica della nostra situazione esistenziale. Merleau-Ponty insiste sulla necessità di tener conto delle più recenti scoperte biologiche e neurobiologiche. Questo doppio approccio costituisce la singolarità e l’unicità della Fenomenologia della percezione. Il mio primo obiettivo sarà quello di interrogare quanto sopravvive di questo approccio mettendolo a confronto con quello neurobiologico. Svolgerò questo confronto calandolo nel contesto di due patologie neurologiche che causano profonde modificazioni dello schema corporeo. In primo luogo il fenomeno del dolore fantasma e degli arti fantasma, in secondo luogo l’anosognosia. Merleau-Ponty interpreta queste patologie in termini analoghi a quanto Freud chiamava disconoscimento o rifiuto psichico. I neurobiologi le spogliano invece di qualsiasi dimensione inconscia. Ci troviamo allora di fronte a un conflitto tra il significato e l’assenza di significato, o dobbiamo piuttosto concludere che la neurobiologia attuale conferisce alla fenomenologia merleaupontyana un nuovo e inatteso futuro?
178. Chiasmi International: Volume > 17
Randall Johnson Aesthesiological Instauration: Ongoing Originating in Étienne Souriau and Merleau-Ponty
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To explore the realm of creativity, we will make use of the concept of instauration as articulated in the work of Étienne Souriau. Although infrequently used, the word remains extant in English, with agreement among dictionaries that the primary definition is the action of restoring or renewing, with a secondary meaning of instituting or founding. While both senses are at play in Souriau’s thought, it is perhaps the tension between the two that is predominantly in question, akin to what we describe as open containment. We think instauration, as institutive renewal, in dialogue with Merleau-Ponty’s late use of the term aesthesiology to further elaborate the process of creating as a return to the wonder that is aesthesis, the affectively and sensually apprehended opening onto and entanglement with what is. Merleau-Ponty extends aesthesiology as the science of the sense organs themselves into a philosophical organology for ontology. His use of aesthesiology and Souriau’s use of instauration constitute efforts to offer sufficient conceptual containment to be able to say the contingent and ambiguous open of ongoing originating, even while both thinkers strive not to institute any final closure by this very act of naming. This is the inevitable tension of writing philosophic creation.Pour explorer le royaume de la créativité, nous utilisons ici le concept d’instauration tel qu’il a été articulé dans l’oeuvre d’Étienne Souriau. Quoique utilisé rarement, ce terme est attesté dans la langue anglaise. Les dictionnaires anglais accordent que sa définition principale désigne une action de rétablissement ou de renouvellement, avec un sens secondaire d’institution ou fondation. Si les deux sens sont à l’oeuvre chez Souriau, c’est peut-être la tension entre eux qui y est surtout patente. Nous pensons ici l’instauration, entendue comme renouvellement instituant, en dialogue avec l’idée d’esthésiologie telle que Merleau-Ponty la comprend à la fin de son oeuvre. Il utilise cette notion pour développer sa conception du processus de création comme retour à l’étonnement que produit l’áisthesis. L’áisthesis est en effet l’ouverture, affective et sensible, et l’entrelacs, affectif et sensible, à ce qui est. Merleau-Ponty prolonge ainsi l’esthésiologie entendue comme science des organes sensibles, vers une organologie philosophique à visée ontologique. L’usage de l’esthésiologie chez Merleau-Ponty et l’usage de l’instauration chez Souriau constituent des efforts vers une maîtrise conceptuelle suffisante pour pouvoir dire l’ouverture continue, contingente et ambiguë de l’originaire – bien que les deux penseurs ne visent pas à instaurer une clôture finale à partir de l’acte nominatif. Telle est la tension inévitable qu’on rencontre lorsqu’on cherche à écrire la création philosophique.Utilizzeremo in queste pagine per esplorare il regno della creatività il concetto di “instaurazione” così come si trova articolato nell’opera di Étienne Souriau. Benché impiegato raramente, questo termine è attestato anche nella lingua inglese. I dizionari inglesi danno come significato principale quello di un’azione di ristabilimento o rinnovamento, a cui si aggiunge un significato secondario di istituzione o fondazione. Se è vero che entrambi i significati sono all’opera in Souriau, è d’altra parte ancor più evidente la loro tensione. Proporremo qui di pensare l’instaurazione, intesa come rinnovamento istituente, in dialogo con l’idea di estesiologia così come la intende Merleau-Ponty alla fine del suo percorso. Egli usa questa nozione per sviluppare la sua concezione del processo creativo come ritorno allo stupore dell’áisthesis, cioè dell’apertura affettiva e sensibile, e dell’intreccio affettivo e sensibile, a ciò che è. Merleau-Ponty prolunga così l’estesiologia come scienza degli organi di senso in direzione di un’organologia filosofica orientata ontologicamente. L’indagine sull’estesiologia condotta da Merleau-Ponty e l’uso del concetto di instaurazione in Souriau costituiscono così altrettanti sforzi di dire concettualmente l’apertura continua, contingente e ambigua dell’originario – benché sia chiaro che i due pensatori non intendono raggiungere in alcun modo, con questo dire concettuale e con questa scelta lessicale, una qualsiasi “chiusura” della questione. Tale è infatti la tensione inevitabile cui ci si ritrova esposti quando si tenta di scrivere la creazione.
179. Chiasmi International: Volume > 17
Ron Morstyn Merleau-Ponty’s “Nightmare” and the Rise of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) as a Turning Away From the Truth of Traumatic Adversity
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is a therapy based on cognitive manipulation which denies the existence of ontological truth. Merleau-Ponty warned of such a development which he labelled a “decadent psychoanalysis.” Merleau-Ponty believed in the existence of ontological truth, not as a matter of cognitive representation nor as something that can be designated by positive indices such as those of psychometric measures or statistical analysis, but as an ontological dimension of the pre-cognitive world. Openness to this pre-reflective truth differentiates a therapy based on truth from one based on suggestion and manipulation. When a suicidal patient, approaches a psychotherapist for help and is told that he or she can feel better by adjusting his or her dysfunctional thinking in normative directions, this truth of lived experience is denied, and so is the opportunity for patient and therapist to recognise their shared ontological pre-reflective connection in which truth may find a way to express itself safely, that is, intersubjectively.La « thérapie béhavioriste cognitive » (TBC) est fondée sur la manipulation cognitive; elle nie par là l’existence même d’une vérité ontologique. Merleau-Ponty nous a mis en garde contre ce développement, qu’il a nommé « une psychanalyse décadente ». Pour lui, il n’est possible d’atteindre la vérité ontologique, ni à partir de la représentation cognitive, ni à partir de signes positifs comme les mesures psychométriques ou l’analyse statistique. La vérité ontologique n’est atteignable qu’à partir du monde pré-cognitif, comme dimension de ce-monde-ci. L’ouverture à cette vérité pré-réflexive fait le départ entre une thérapie fondée sur la vérité et une théorie fondée sur la suggestion et la manipulation. Quand un malade consulte un psychanalyste, il peut certes survenir une amélioration de sa situation par un ajustement normatif de sa pensée dysfonctionnelle, mais la vérité de son vécu s’en trouve niée. Est ainsi perdue la chance que le malade et le psychanalyste puissent reconnaître leur lien ontologique pré-réflexif, en lequel une vérité pourrait s’exprimer authentiquement et intersubjectivement.La terapia cognitivo-comportamentale si basa su manipolazioni cognitive che negano l’esistenza di una verità ontologica. Merleau-Ponty formula il suo monito nei confronti di quella che definisce come una “psicoanalisi decadente”. Egli crede nell’esistenza di una verità ontologica, una verità che non è oggetto di rappresentazione cognitiva né referente di indizi positivi come quelli su cui si basano la psicometria o la statistica, ma che si delinea come la dimensione ontologica del mondo pre-cognitivo. Il fatto di mantenersi aperta a questa verità pre-riflessiva distingue una terapia basata sulla verità da una terapia basata sulla suggestione e sulla manipolazione. Quando, ad esempio, un paziente con inclinazioni suicidarie si avvicina a uno psicoterapeuta chiedendogli aiuto e si sente rispondere che egli potrà sentirsi meglio se correggerà normativamente un suo modo di pensare disfunzionale, ciò che accade è che la verità della sua esperienza vissuta si trova negata. E che si trova negata con essa l’opportunità per il paziente come per il terapeuta di riconoscere la propria prossimità pre-riflessiva e ontologica, nonché di avvertire l’affiorare di una verità che solo in quella dimensione potrebbe trovare espressione sicura e cioè intersoggettiva.
180. Chiasmi International: Volume > 17
Renaud Barbaras Phenomenology and the Poetic
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The poetic names our capacity to transcend our finitude as subject and rejoin our worldly ground, that which links us to our origin despite the evential separation. It is the dimension of our existence which opens us to that from which our existence is nonetheless radically exiled, going, as it were, against the stream of the subject’s enclosure; it is that which, in us, reverses the evential separation, the only recourse against this separation. It is thus what makes it possible to apprehend being from the viewpoint of the world, whose product and ostention it is, and not only from our viewpoint as separated beings.Le poétique désigne l’aptitude que nous avons à transcender notre finitude de sujet et à rejoindre notre sol mondain, ce qui nous relie à notre origine en dépit de la séparation événementiale. Il est la dimension de notre existence qui nous ouvre à cela dont elle est pourtant radicalement exilée, à contre-courant pour ainsi dire de la clôture du sujet; il est en nous ce qui inverse la séparation événementiale, le seul recours contre cette séparation. Il est donc ce qui permet de saisir l’étant du point du vue du monde dont il est le produit et l’ostension et non plus seulement du nôtre, comme êtres séparés.Il poetico designa la capacità di trascendere la nostra finitezza di soggetti e a ricongiungerci col nostro suolo mondano, è ciò che ci riconnette alla nostra origine a dispetto della separazione evenemenziale. È la dimensione della nostra esistenza che ci apre a ciò da cui essa è tuttavia radicalmente esiliata, risalendo controcorrente, per così dire, la chiusura del soggetto; è ciò che in noi rovescia la separazione evenemenziale, solo soccorso contro quella separazione. È dunque ciò che ci consente di cogliere l’ente dal punto di vista del mondo, di cui esso è il prodotto e l’ostensione, e non più soltanto dal nostro punto di vista di esseri separati.