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Phenomenology 2005

Volume 1, Issue Part 2, 2007

Selected Essays from Asia Part 2

Musubu Ohtaki
Pages 635-657

The Phases of the Unconscious

From The Structure of Behavior to his later philosophy, Merleau-Ponty reflected on the unconscious. This paper first points out the topological concepts in Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy. Then, the paper traces how Merleau-Ponty defines the unconscious. In this regard, concepts concerning “negativity” plays an important role in his topological way of thinking. Freud’s and Heidegger’s ideas will also be examined with regard to this negativity. We will recognize that the key concepts in Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy such as flesh, hinge, and hollowness result from the topological structures created by reversibility between negation and non-negation. Finally, the paper confirms that the structures found in the unconscious and dreams should be understood based on structural ontology in Merleau-Ponty’s last writings.

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