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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 2, Spring 2012

Bryan Lueck
Pages 425-442

Alterity in Merleau-Ponty’s Prose of the World

I argue in this paper that Maurice Merleau-Ponty provides a compelling account of alterity in The Prose of the World. I begin by tracing this account of alterity back to its roots in Phenomenology of Perception. I then show how the dynamic of expression articulated in The Prose of the World overcomes the limitations of the account given in the earlier work. After addressing an objection to the effect that the account given in The Prose of the World fails for the same reason as the one given in Phenomenology of Perception, I argue that the key to Merleau-Ponty’s more successful account of alterity is provided by the phenomenon of orientation.