Volume 22, 2022
L’autrui dans la sphère la plus originaire
Merleau-Ponty et la théorie husserlienne de l’instinct
This paper examines the influence that Husserl’s drive/instinct theory has on Merleau‑Ponty’s late philosophy. Husserl’s interest in the passive realm of life develops into a study of a more profound level which even precedes the emergence of subjectivity. We analyze how it leads Merleau‑Ponty, in his philosophy of flesh, to furnish an ontological explanation regarding the problem of the relationship with others. In this regard, we investigate firstly Husserl’s theory of originary affection and its limits, before scrutinizing the notion of empathy; thereby we show how Merleau‑Ponty develops the Husserlian intentional relation into a carnal relation based on the idea that others and I belong to the same world. This will reveal that the relationship with the others always lies in the most profound level of our experience, because we share the ontological affinity, namely, the flesh.