Volume 27, 1998
Philosophy of Culture
Graciela Ralon de Walton
Nocion de Simbolismo en Merleau-Ponty
The problem of the relationship between natural and conventional symbolism shows Merleau-Ponty's concern with maintaining an 'organic link between perception and intellection.' For the body affords in itself and in its relation with the world the model on which the interpretation of symbolism is grounded. This paper develops the view that the architectonic of the body implies a silent structure which is the condition for expressive operations. The body is the 'primal expression,' and this means that it is so organized that it brings forth an institution (Stiftung) of meaning. As regards conventional symbolism, Merleau-Ponty turns aside from an intellectual interpretation by contending that the attempt to find in categoreal activity a common fundamental moment must not overlook the fact that meaningful structures cannot be separated from the materials which embody them because 'matter is pregnant with form.' This view opens up the possibility of considering the cultural formations which emerge in the relationship between persons in language, knowledge, society and history as a reprise of the aesthetic logos in a different architectonic.