Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 18, 2018

The Promise of Genetic Phenomenology

Michel Dalissier
Pages 303-328

Endo-Ontology and the Later Merleau-Ponty’s Thoughts on Space-Time

In this paper, I consider the idea of space-time in its philosophical specificity. Such an approach must satisfy three main conditions. First, the inquiry must meditate on the link epitomized by the hyphen in the expression “space-time”. Second, it must not reduce either space to time or time to space, but must instead explore the significance of their in-between-ness and of their interweaving reality. Third, the inquiry must rid itself of any priority of space over time or of time over space that would take place in the mediation of space-time. I explore whether there is a metaphysical approach that might be able to articulate the organic link of space-time epitomized by the hyphen in order to grasp the philosophical meaning of its irreducible, deep, and fleshly thickness. I argue that Merleau-Ponty might usher in decisive clues and some insightful tools for building such a theory. I accordingly begin by discussing his later topic of an endo-ontology, linking together concepts such as endospace and endo-time. Starting from there, I examine what he finally envisions as the chiasm and nexus of space-time.