Thesis Eleven

http://the.sagepub.com Merleau-Ponty and the Weight of the Ontological Tradition
Cornelius Castoriadis Thesis Eleven 1993; 36; 1 DOI: 10.1177/072551369303600102 The online version of this article can be found at: http://the.sagepub.com

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MERLEAU-PONTY AND
THE WEIGHT OF THE TRADITION

ONTOLOGICAL
NOTICE
The

Cornelius Castoriadis

following pages are excerpted from a work in progress, L’El6ment imaginaire [The Imaginary Element].1 A few, more than schematic, remarks on the direction and themes of this work might facilitate the task of the reader. Despite the risk of one-sidedness, it is illuminating to think the history of the mainstream of philosophy as the elaboration of Reason, homologous to the positing of being as being-determined, or determinacy (peras, Bestimmtheit).
The risk involved, which may be reduced when one is aware of it, is indeed in itself quite low. For, what does not pertain to Reason and determined Being has always been assigned, in this central channel, to the infrathinkable or to the suprathinkable, to indetermination as mere privation, a deficit of determination, that is to say, of being, or to an absolutely transcendent and inaccessible origin of all determination. This position has, at all times, entailed the covering back over of alterity and of its source, of the positive rupture of already given determinations, of creation not simply as undetermined but as determining, or as the positing of new determinations. In other words, it has at all times entailed the occultation of the radical imaginary and, correlatively, that of time as time of creation and not of repetition. This occultation is total and patent as concerns the social-historical dimension of the radical imaginary., that is, the social imaginary or instituting society. In this case, the motivations, if one may express oneself thus, are clear. It appertains intrinsically and constitutively to the known institution of society, as heteronomous institution, to exclude the idea that it might be self-institution, the work of society as instituting. At most (in modern times), the self-institution

1

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2

of society will be seen as the implementation [rnise en oeuvre] or application to human affairs of Reason in its finally understood form. Philosophy could not avoid, however, an encounter with the other dimension of the radical imaginary, its psychical dimension, the radical imagination of the subject. Here, the occultation of the radical character of the imagination, reduction of the latter to a secondary role, sometimes a perturbing and negative one, sometimes auxiliary and instrumental: the question has always been posed in terms of the role the imagination plays in our relation to True/False, Beauty/Ugliness, Good/Bad posited as already given and determined elsewhere. What mattered, indeed, was to assure the th~oay-the view, or the constitution-of what is, of what must be done, of what is valid, in its necessity, in its very determinacy. The imagination is, however, in its essence rebellious against determinacy. To this extent, it most of the time will be simply scotomized, or relegated to &dquo;psychology&dquo;, or &dquo;interpreted&dquo; and &dquo;explained&dquo; in terms of its products, using flagrantly superficial ideas such as &dquo;compensation&dquo; for some unsatisfied need or desire. (The imagination is obviously not effect of, but condition for desire, as Aristotle already knew: &dquo;There is no desiring without imagination&dquo;, De Anima 433b29.) And even where the creative role of the imagination will be recognized, when Kant sees in the work of art &dquo;produced&dquo; by genius the undetermined and indeterminable positing of new determinations, there will still be an &dquo;instrumentality&dquo; of a higher order, a subordination of the imagination to something else that allows one to gauge its works. In the Critique of judgment, the ontological status of the work of art is a reflection or a derivative of its value status, which consists in the presentation within intuition of the Ideas for which Reason cannot, in principle, furnish a discursive representation. Nevertheless, this cover up will be interrupted twice in the history of philosophy. Each time the rupture will be difficult to achieve, antinomical in character, and creative of insoluble aporias. What is thereby discovered, the imagination, does not allow itself to be held and contained, nor put into place or in its place in a clear, univocal, and assignable relation to sensibility and thought. And each time the rupture will be followed immediately by a strange and total forgetting. It is Aristotle who first discovers the imagination-and he discovers it twice, that is, he discovers two imaginations. He discovers first (De Anima, Book III, Chapter 3) the imagination in the sense that later became banal, what I will henceforth call the second imagination, and he lays down the doctrine of the imagination that has become since his time the conventional one and that still reigns today in fact and in substance. He then discovers another imagination, one with a much more radical function that enjoys almost nothing but a homonymic relation to the previous one, and which I will henceforth call the first imagination. This discovery takes place in the middle of Book III of IW Ani171a; it is neither made explicit nor thematized as such; it interrupts

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ontology totit court.recoiling&dquo. And it will be ignored in interpretations and commentaries. and opened in a much more explicit and much broader fashion-but just as antinomical. a new cover up will rapidly supervene. Ltd. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. and the-in my view-partial and biased character of this rediscovery.sagepub. No trace of the theme or the term imagination will he found in the Phenomenology of the Mind. .that which is first and original&dquo. SAGE Publications. however. deceptive. in the propaedeutic and the Encyclopaedia. following him. opened by the discovery of the transcendental imagination. Heidegger imputes to Kant when faced with the &dquo. at times. will remain unpublished and unknown. or suspect status. which will use the discovery of the second imagination to cover up the discovery of the first imagination.3 the logical order of this treatise and. that it is Heidegger. Let me simply note here. too. and &dquo. works of the imagination (reproaching the Ancients for having lowered memory to the rank of the imagination: Encyclopaedia section 462 Zusatz).. fixation of its place between sensation and intellection (which completely obliterates the admirable ninth chapter of Book III of De Anima. covering over. untenable. still dominant today. but &dquo. illusory. with respect to the &dquo. making it merely reproductive in character and recornbinatory in its activity. and what he will again call. himself who in effect &dquo. it virtually bursts apart the Aristotelian ontology-which amounts to saying. as well as in the history of philosophy. that we owe both the restoration of the question of the imagination as a philosophical question and the possibility of an approach to Kant that breaks with the somnolence and aridity of the neo-Kantians. and uncontainable.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. And later on. Downloaded from http://the. &dquo. One will have to wait until Kant (and. A new forgetting. Hegel will switch the emphasis from imagination to memory. after the Kantian Critiques.bottomless abyss&dquo. I will speak elsewhere of the rediscovery by Heidegger of the Kantian discovery of the imagination. In his youthful writings Hegel pursued and. which merely reproduces the first exposition of the imagination in Aristotle’s treatise: relegation of the imagination to the realm of &dquo.active imagination&dquo. No doubt it is to Heidegger.psychology&dquo. No doubt.middle term&dquo. and its refutation in advance of the Encyclopaedia’s apothecaty storage system). Thus.. of infinitely greater importance. in this case again. is not a &dquo. Hegel restores and re-establishes the vulgar tradition. that Heidegger reintroduces in his turn and completely on his own-an impressive spectacle-the successive movements of discovery and covering back over that have marked the history of the question of the imagination. to which he will transfer the &dquo. radicalized the movement initiated by Kant and Fichte: the imagination. he writes in Fctith and Knowledge. And. after writing his book on Kant. Fichte) for the question of the imagination again to be posed. thereby granting its works a deficient. with his Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (1929).recoils&dquo.objectifiable&dquo. with regard to this question. Things went in an entirely other direction in the published work. These writings. will in fact be only a selective recombination of empirical data guided by the Idea-an astounding banality. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. All rights reserved. renewed.creative imagination&dquo..

the trace of the difficulties and aporias to which the question of the imagination and the imaginary gives birth persist in Maurice MerleauPonty’s 7be Visible and the Invisible.. &dquo. whatever its quasi-matter (visible. by any of them. or fiction) in no way suffices to dislodge it from its being as representation or to confer upon it. in relation to other species thereof. From the idea that perception gives access to &dquo. perception having become now experience or ontological reception. for the nonexistent without further ado... Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. To perceive is to imagine.. the evident and unintelligible coalescence of &dquo. is not in the eye. from which he will never completely succeed in freeing himself. or &dquo.in my head&dquo. any ontological privilege.what senses&dquo.ancient cleavages&dquo.explained&dquo. than &dquo. and no light without an eye in act. &dquo. in this work. of the ens realissimum. or in the light. any more than it can be.the thing&dquo. one continually slides toward the idea that perception alone truly gives access to something (or. it is radical imagination manifesting itself and taking shape [se figu~°~taat]. How else can we comprehend this hesitation which sometimes. dreams.at the thing&dquo. I cannot see without spacing or spatializing-and I space or spatialize as soon as I imagine. makes of the imaginary a synonym for irreal fiction.leans&dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29... &dquo. and sometimes goes almost so far as to dissolve the distinction between the imaginary and the real? Here we see Merleau-Ponty striving very far toward his goal of effacing the &dquo. [s’etaye]-to reprise a term of Freud’s..thinking of Being&dquo. perception a variant of representation. it is that by which and in which a &dquo. etc. It would not suffice to say that perceiving presupposes imagining. or in &dquo. It is so just as much when it is perceptual representation and when it &dquo. . or even noematic).. is immediately (h~tmc~) the positing [position] of ordered gaps. Nor is the image any more &dquo.. made one seek in the characteristics of the being [£tant] par excellence. this privileging has continued throughout the philosophical tradition. Now. however. there is a suppression of what this question unsettles for every ontology (and for every &dquo. not analogy) that has regularly. * * * Representation pertains to the radical imagination. Downloaded from http://the. Ltd. All rights reserved. and an &dquo. That it raises an indefinite number of specific and interminable problems (though no more grave than remembering. what is seen. [etr~] tout court. for twentyfive centuries.things&dquo. as such. in the literal and active sense of this term. and &dquo. the signification of &dquo. and yet at the same time something draws him back: undoubtedly. since every figure.to be&dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. except by virtue of the same slippage (by homology.sagepub.over there&dquo. sonorous. this is the persistence of the schema of perception in the broadest sense.here&dquo.over there&dquo.among things&dquo. which we shall often use-on a being-thus of the sensible. arise.). for no further traces of the question will be found in any of his subsequent writings.4 and effacement of the question of the imagination intervenes. SAGE Publications.what is sensed&dquo.here&dquo. The image. Nearer to us. To perceive (as well as to remember) is a species of imagining. No eye in act [en c~cte] without light..

descriptions of what gives itself such as it gives itself. which is never anything but one of tbeoria.s] and to let them &dquo.? The positing of this situation as primary and canonical carries with it an indeterminate number of prejudices and prior decisions henceforth imported irreflectively into allegedly ab ovo constitutions. the eternal inkwell.passive&dquo. it is only the other side of the ontological prejudice philosophy has always granted to the ~es-whether it be extensa or cogitans.let&dquo. still carried away toward this triadic situation in which there is &dquo.. striven to show that there i. this privilege? Obviously. and of the &dquo. the beings &dquo. There is no question here of &dquo.-and their canonical relationship. res). of vision-not only and not inasmuch as the metaphor of vision constantly impregnates the philosopher’s language. this intention was beginning to achieve realization.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29.laisser [treles etc~a2t. on occasion. in him. whatever might have been the modalities and variants? Why is the philosopher. but also insofar as. ousia. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. That.. is due to the fact that Merleau-Ponty was one of the first (and remains one of the rare) contemporary philosophers to show himself philosophiccslly attentive and open to the properly philosophical interrogations to which politics.the one who&dquo.truly&dquo.. even when s/he has pledged to abandon or to put into question the classical dichotomies of the &dquo. But what is the re. or Wesen-even when philosophy has. or even brought back to the idea. All rights reserved. from the sphere of &dquo. but rather of showing.s no res (or that the res is not &dquo. nothing can dislodge the &dquo.come forth&dquo. but inasmuch as the structure of this relationship has always been posited as &dquo. every other species of representation at the same time finds its origin in perception and is only a carbon copy.subject&dquo. the &dquo.the mountain that rises from the plain&dquo. gazes. reception of a &dquo. still less of polemicizing against it. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. Ltd. in its turn.s? And what is perception ? Is it truly primary. SAGE Publications. that. .its&dquo. or of something that &dquo. or has a fatal pre-emption taken place here that has set in a determinate rut everything that was to follow.gives itself&dquo. or else. on the basis of a case that to us seems exemplary. the enormous weight the implicit prejudices of the inherited ontology bring to bear upon someone’s thought at the very moment when it is struggling to free itself therefrom.criticizing&dquo. An exemplary case not only insofar as Merleau-Ponty affirms his programmatic intention to break with the traditional ontology and the egology that is consubstantial with it.subject&dquo.5 same logico-ontological organization: that since pertruly give access to things. an enfeebled variant. &dquo. then.given&dquo. therefore. [ &dquo. Downloaded from http://the.sagepub. representation). Whence comes. when s/he boldly innovates. essential instruments of the profession.be&dquo. an author whose work was interrupted at the very moment when it was embarking on a new flight. How tenacious this philosophical situation is may be seen in the final labours of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. ception does but in the not this question has remained primary.5. society. a lacunary and deficient residue thereof. gazed upon-the eternal table.object&dquo.thing&dquo. and decisions to &dquo. at least such as we know them through The Tjisible and the Invisible2 and the accompanying Working Note. thereby testifying once again that for philosophy symmetrically.

ontological difference&dquo. whether psychological or transcendental. that.acts of consciousness&dquo. and not as external contingency or as &dquo.institution of Being&dquo. in particular. would perhaps have permitted.destiny of Being&dquo.knowledge&dquo. to assure the presence of significations within the immanence of a history that.sagepub. but by shedding light on their specific mode of being and by renewing in this way his thought. Certainly.6 the institution. &dquo. to give to the term an incomparably stronger signification and does he go so far as to speak of an &dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. the one that makes of being the self-giving of what is given and is fatally obliged. We must. Thus.. psychoanalysis. in the latter..applying&dquo.. in ceasing be dominated by the cognitive sphere. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. when he reprises from Husserl. not by &dquo. and not only the statements in this work. had he had the time. to continue it. to begin with. SAGE Publications.. Rather it is that he would then have had to put aside 7be Visible and the Invisible. and that he often knew how to talk about them. the quality of its ontological intention. thus showing through actual deeds that an effort to go beyond the inherited ontology cannot but jeer at &dquo. The few attempts at the imaginary in 7be Visible and the Invisible remain and could remain only attempts because they are deeply heterogeneous to what is essential to the thought that is deployed therein and ultimately incompatible with it.. it is not his death that is responsible. All rights reserved. when finally it is seen. This movement aborts.. therefore. to adjust itself to the being-given. from its origins onward. to resume this movement. it is not that Merleau-Ponty would have been unable.. &dquo. in that case. &dquo. he was able to see therein regions and &dquo. eschew notions such as &dquo. too. . had it been prolonged. only as a teleology of Reason-is he able.shake-up of the divisions of traditional ontology&dquo. exacerbated by Heidegger and taken up again from him by Merleau-Ponty. Ltd. in what seems to have been a first bid at the beginning of the book.objects&dquo. viz.. return frequently-even if these remain indeterminate due to their equivocality-and can one see therein the outlines of a movement that. is seen. to Merleau-Ponty wrote: We also do not allow ourselves to introduce into our description concepts issued from reflection. Thus. as worthy of consideration as &dquo... For. he would have had to abandon.imaginary&dquo.states of consciousness&dquo. Thus. but its unvoiced [silencieuse] orientation. and the traditional ontological illusion.reality&dquo. to them a ready-made philosophy.matter&dquo.. and art imperiously give rise.. in his last writings. is essentially taken up only within the horizon of the cognitive sphere and has only a quite determinate and very narrow function. do the term and the idea of &dquo. due to the very fact that he had been able to see history as history. but a reverse take [prendre a reversal on the whole of this ontology. at the very moment when it is sketched out-and for that.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. itself. and to affirm it. &dquo. however. at the beginning. and in a domain that for us enjoys a central importance. the idea of institution [Stiftung]-an idea that. not a &dquo.form&dquo. and Downloaded from http://the.

and &dquo. &dquo. is the imitation and the renewal thereof? All the ontological decisions have already been taken with this simple word: my perception is archetype.. the idea&dquo.. not as a simple sensorial function that would explain the others but as the archetype of the originating encounter. could one and oppose perception as &dquo. emphasis added) How. which would distance ourselves from our purpose. and to affirm that the &dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29.layers&dquo. or history. For us the &dquo. according to a view that for him is ultimate and could not conceivably be more perfect or closer-whether we are considering things perceived in the ordinary sense. the idea. as &dquo.things&dquo. the imaginary..encounter with the past. whose status is not specified. (pp. imitated and renewed in the encounter with the jaast. We are not prejudging the relations that may exist between these different &dquo. Now. This is not some accidental manner of expressing oneself.. and &dquo. nor even that they are &dquo. but also &dquo. the imaginary. Moreover. the imaginary. 209-210F/157-158E) .layers&dquo.nor even that they are layers&dquo. 210F/158E. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. this residue of Husserlian na’ivete espoused here is in fact abandoned in the body of the work and in the Working Notes.. Ltd. and it is a part of our task to decide this.. We exclude the term perception the whole extent that it already implies a cutting up of what is lived into discontinuous acts. with the force of what is inaugural and present in person. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. etc. what allows us to consider perception.renewal&dquo. language.lived&dquo.imitation&dquo. or a reference to &dquo. the others. and the &dquo.. its &dquo. the past. and in what sense. here is what immediately follows the passage just cited: Perception as an encounter with natural things is at the foreground of our research... at this stage.. the imaginary. hut. to distinguish absolutely perception and the imaginary? Above all. we shall see it again..archetype&dquo. includes everything that is given to the natural man in the original in an experience-source. . after having affirmed that one was not prejudging the relations that might &dquo.? What has authorized us.. the predicative truth of science.7 even to &dquo.perceptual faith&dquo. not only for what would be temporal discontinuities. Downloaded from http://the. or simply an opposition between the visible and the invisible We do not yet know what to see is and what to think is.layers&dquo. what is infinitely weightier. (p. When it becomes a question of undertaking anew an examination exist between different distinguish . or his initiation into the past.qualitative&dquo. works of art.encounter with the imaginary&dquo. in terms of what questioning our brute or wild experience will have taught us.perception&dquo.image&dquo. All rights reserved.encounter with natural things&dquo. Let us retain the refusal to cut up what is &dquo.sagepub. whether this distinction is valid. oppositions: visible/invisible. not as explanatory principle. We will not discuss here whether it is possible to discuss something without prejudice. things perceived/language/imaginary. the idea. SAGE Publications.

. this does not terminate the problem of our access to Downloaded from http://the.Now that I have in perception the thing itself.-and.of the something&dquo..in person&dquo. for example. of grain between the perception or true vision.a Being that would be in itself only&dquo. &dquo. Similarly.sagepub. of the &dquo.. I want to consider what gives itself such ’as it gives itself.lived experience&dquo. Will s/he have &dquo. when we think the dream.. as it were. which is not observable and. to a doubtful thesis and to a logical blunder: the sole legitimate and admissible experience is the &dquo.objective&dquo.without prejudices&dquo. What traditional philosophy would object to in this undertaking would be that the dream does not furnish us an &dquo. voila.. After having shown that Pyrrhonism shares with a naive realism the idea of &dquo.presence&dquo. The tacit postulates of this argument boil down. if it is a matter of beginning &dquo. thereof. therefore. but only its reproduction in a difficult remembrance. rigorously speaking.thing&dquo..fully&dquo. of the absence of an &dquo. of a correlate of perception on the basis of the &dquo. is &dquo.the thing itself&dquo.something&dquo.8 of &dquo. however. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.representation&dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. the mode and the type of being that it makes be and that. Ltd. of something to a lucid consciousness. what naturally flows from his pen.. (p. upon examination. All rights reserved. what can necessarily be inferred therefrom) is. correlate of the dream-and always on the presupposition that at least an indubitable idea of &dquo. and not a representation &dquo. in what is by date the last version-and little matter the dialectic within which the formulation appears-Merleau-i’onty is able to declare without difficulty: &dquo. which gives rise to an open series of concordant explorations.begin&dquo. that presents itself and that is present to us. .evidence&dquo.presence in person&dquo. that some outlandish person rejects the rules of the game and refuses to &dquo. all of philosophy is knocked out of order. 19-21F/5-7E)-btit never the dream. there.this pebble or this sea shell&dquo. 21F/7E). and noted that &dquo. (p. Let us therefore tctke my dreum froa~ last night. without privileging one form of lived experience over against the others.reality&dquo.originary&dquo.experience-source&dquo..objective&dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. only what gives itself in such an experience (and. and the dream. SAGE Publications. since when the dream is there we are not &dquo. correlate. it is a &dquo. which in fact means: as dreaming and thinking the dream-and.in flesh and bone&dquo. the &dquo. &dquo. Let that person say: &dquo.. (the dream)? And if that were posited as &dquo.we answer Pyrrhonism sufficiently by showing that there is a difference of structure and. and &dquo.. with tables and pebbles. 213F/160E).. under the same heading as any other-after all. this &dquo. or the &dquo. are just as valid as any others.reality&dquo. however. as sucb. To be sure. (in a waking state) of a &dquo. we do not have the dream &dquo. as Merleau-Ponty quite well has shown (pp.I am beginning without any prejudice. This thesis is certainly not that of Merleau-Ponty. is almost nothing but blanks [lacunes]&dquo.representation&dquo.. Say. mode of being. he continues: .. like anotherare there many pages of any book of philosophy whatsoever that could follow thereafter? What philosophy has discussed interminably has always been the putting into question of the &dquo. is furnished by this reference to an &dquo.representation&dquo.

no place of their own. that &dquo. the consubstantiality of the first with the true and of the second with illusion massively affirmed (&dquo. Then. 63F/40E]). necessarily be that of the philosophy of reflection. and &dquo.. . will one rediscover only the &dquo. in effect. 56F/34E). (pp. nor that the observable is ever entirely observable. their qualities opposed./30E). (pp. Ltd. the imaginary necessarily has this place-and which. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. disappearing before the sun of thought like the mists of dawn. There is a &dquo. by means of which &dquo. and that are.in order to constitute the world.. that &dquo. And yet. The critique of Descartes and of the philosophy of reflection (pp.above perception itself&dquo. (p.. then. the imaginary is incoherent or improbable because it is imaginary. and this difference is not a difference of the more and the less&dquo.it dissimulates from itself its own mainspring&dquo. 60F/37E)..presence of the whole world in one reflection&dquo. [p.the narrow circle of objects of thought that are only half-thought. tips completely to the side of incoherent fiction as soon as the question of the imaginary is seriously taken into consideration-is challenged only to the extent that it forgets that it is only a half circle. when it becomes a question of coining the idea that the difference between the observable and the dream is not absolute. But it begins well beyond the Pyrrhonian arguments. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty..9 the world.. where then to include it?). half-objects or phantoms having no consistency.. would the route that would pass &dquo. one is justified in counting them both among &dquo. SAGE Publications. between the thought and what it thinks.perceiving and imagining are now only two modes of thinking&dquo. It could be remarked that it is difficult to exclude delirium from the world (for. the difference between real and imaginaly becomes again as absolute as it could be.the perceptual life of my body . only a thin layer of the unthought&dquo. and it is above perception itself that we must seek the guarantee and the sense of its ontological function.sagepub. that accomplishes the primary openness to the world&dquo.irremediable absence in the richest and most systematic deliriums. 20-21F/5-6E) Why. (ibid.our experiences&dquo. presupposed in every notion of an object. this philosophy for v~lhich. on the contrary it is only beginning . and .namely. the difference between perception and dream not being absolute. for this very reason.. and not real because it is coherent. (p. We will stake out that route. and not imaginary because it is incoherent&dquo.). and why. nor that it is made of another fabric than the dream. All rights reserved. when it opens. 48-74F/28-49E) rests entirely on the evidence of &dquo.conversion to reflection&dquo. which is that of the philosophy of reflection [la philosophie reflexive]. it is necessary to have a notion of the world as preconstituted&dquo.the real is coherent and probable because it is real.. nothing proves to us that we are ever in it..com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. and that a world without delirium is another inco- Downloaded from http://the. [I]f we can withdraw from the world of perception without knowing it. 49F/29E)? What the imaginary becomes in such a philosophy Merleau-Ponty has nevertheless described with a rigour that is not lacking in irony: &dquo. (p. 50-51F..

of an operative imaginary. Thus also does Merleau-Ponty write in another context. it vanishes when one proceeds to vision&dquo. source that is in question. SAGE Publications.. .com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. 64-65F/41E). in relation to which they are untenable but which actually is aimed at since what is at stake here is the true itself and Being.. however. and while reaffirming a thesis of the world and trying to show that no doubt could affect it absolutely: &dquo. and which is indispensable for the definition of Being itself&dquo. and which &dquo. This distinction. Sometimes second-order. derived productions of the imagination or of the radical imaginary are intended.perspectives&dquo. has to be reconsidered and is not reducible to that between the full and the void&dquo. and they regenerate it under other names-appearance. (p.world&dquo. or else &dquo. let us note again the character of ontological discriminant implicitly imputed to the notion of the observable and of the body). inobservable. dream. origin. an ousia that was so to such an extent that it no longer was ousia but beyond the ousia. and from then on how is one to avoid its being the archetype and the &dquo. and a just as characteristic slippage (neither accidental nor the result of some &dquo.solid&dquo. Psyche.imaginary In-Itself-for-itself&dquo. And finally. there is just as much of a double sense.We only say that the In-Itself-for-itself is more than imaginary. however.imitations&dquo. to the term &dquo.) from a narrow sense of &dquo. residues having little of anything to teach us about what solidly is? Certainly.sagepub. (p. (pp. which is part of our institution. All rights reserved. The imaginary is without consistence. nor of another sort than what has been struck off: what remains are mutilated fragments of the vague omnitudo realitatis against which the doubt was plied. (pp. to a broad sense. ~Uhat must especially be seen. the imaginary is not an absolute inobservable: it finds in the body analogues of itself that incarnate it. sometimes. or rather a floating sense. and as the ens entium always fatally turns out to be the sole genuine ens-and from then on how is one to distinguish it from the esse?-so is there in the omnitudo realitatis a reality more &dquo.imaginary&dquo.Conversely. as early as the Republic.in any case [is] itself beyond contestation&dquo. 108F/77E. 143F/105-106E). It is in the name and for the profit of these floating realities that the solid reality is cast into doubt&dquo. it is the imaginary as dunamis. Downloaded from http://the.. representation. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty.[W]hat remains [after the destruction of beliefs] is not nothing.The truth of the Sartrean In-Itselffor-itself is the intuition of pure Being and the negintuition of Nothingness. a few lines later: &dquo. Thus is one able to attenuate the incompatibility or the nonhomogeneity of statements that are quite close to one another: &dquo. (p. in relation to which these statements are apparently justified.world&dquo. finally. The Castle and Tristan and Isolde must also be incoherent and improbable. 117F/85E). It seems to us that on the contrary it is necessary to recognize in it the solidity of myth.. the different perceptions of which are &dquo.: &dquo. like the others. before taking up again the Husserlian approach in order to expose it to criticism. Ltd. apropos of Sartre’s &dquo.floating&dquo. sometimes it is the mode of being of the imaginary as such that is at issue. than the others. As there was.negligence&dquo. Also.10 herent philosophical fabrication. 118F/85E). that is. In this philosophy. is that in fact we have here a characteristic amphibology on the term &dquo.

reading. SAGE Publications.mind&dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty.captured&dquo. I dispose of an internal screen. Whether I open or I close my eyes. at my disposition inasmuch as. of which only a copy. nothing but that-which is in and through this presentation. What alone matters is to note that it has been able to be granted a measure of credence only by means of a massive and monstrous deformation of Greek thought (which itself constituted itself straight off in a bodily struggle with the problematic of doxa) and a repeated occultation of Kantian thinking on Vonslellung and on imagination. phantasm. much greater extent by textbooks in psychology. an internal dark room.spectacle&dquo. Whence comes this idea of a mind that &dquo. that we are discussing here. Likewise. Demolishing this ridiculous fabrication allows one to forget what is here in question.within&dquo. I am supposed to be quite distinct from that which I see. what would Downloaded from http://the. as always.mind&dquo.flesh&dquo. the spectator him/herself being. is of no interest here. Ltd. representations. There is a metaphorical third eye. therefore. Perception. To what extent this vulgar idea can be backed up by certain of Descartes’s statements.has&dquo.11 ~ Let us consider the view taken of the being of representation when it is explained in relation to the visible. not implicated therein. it allows one. it is only against this vulgar idea that Merleau-Ponty is setting himself off here. on which I project at will this or that image. by a reflection. in a sense. is. nor spectacle for a spectator. of course). Vertretung) or for &dquo. this perpetual &dquo. whether I listen or I stop up my ears. if one wants to use this term. to begin with. It is again by a second-order thought. that. which is not spectacle of another trans-spectacle. above all. The &dquo. on stage. representations but could not be &dquo. nor that of the &dquo.a representation for a mind: a mind could not be captured by its own representations. but what this incident highlights. to avoid demolishing fabrications that are just as arbitrary but that cling much more firmly to the entire fabric of inherited thought. 194F/139E)~ It is not the idea of the visible. memory. All rights reserved. (p. dominates) absolute &dquo. of &dquo. reverie. hearing music with eyes closed. Behind the third eye stands a &dquo. The mind [esprit]. there is (since the metaphor of vision. This idea it is rests on a mechanical model of vision. it would rebel against this insertion into the visible which is essential to the seer&dquo. that is not there for something else (re-presentation. always.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. except in dreamless sleep. inasmuch as s/he is at all. is decisive-is only the vulgar idea of representation constructed by Heidegger in 1938 by way of a straw man to be knocked down and since then accepted uncritically nearly everywhere.sagepub.. first and foremost. The mind does not &dquo. and they rigorously enter under the same heading.. there is that itself-and. .someone&dquo. thought are first and foremost that. sight is. by flipping a switch. is this: representational flux (and something else as well..presentation&dquo. lights up the screen and then &dquo.has&dquo. The visible is not &dquo.. for example. a representation. that this is described as a clearing fc5clairciel that would occur &dquo. a projection screen. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.something&dquo. and not by chance. Indeed. by thern? That against which thought here defines itself-and that is what. and to what other.have&dquo. I can always close my eyes or turn my head. dreams.

moreover..12 be unlit [non éclairé]. . from cause to effect. of an object-has being and meaning. The subject is not possessor of &dquo.. for example). Nevertheless. they are inevitable and legitimate-but of a second order.transcendental subject&dquo. the following instant. whatever the &dquo. And in this case. and. even in the most extreme delirium. (on the there is). All rights reserved. so far as they can bebut of a second order.before&dquo. immediately afterward. Ltd. Downloaded from http://the. it too. from reflection to object reflected). or &dquo. through a dehiscence of and in something else. they are &dquo. and &dquo.. for such thinking hastens immediately to ask: Positing of what by whom?. even before having felt it. or Dasein) are separations resulting from reflection. that. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. &dquo. something else.solid&dquo. for perception is inseparable from the radical imagination.intra-worldly&dquo. will never be total separation-save as limit of objectifying thought (a limit that.sagepub. sense.. its relative legitimacy). only as: There is a world-into an &dquo.logical&dquo. or thing-like relation. in its time and in its place. Likewise. That in the there is of the representational flux the (allegedly full-bloomed) perceptual thing rapidly (though not inevitably) blossoms forth is of importance and even decisive-but of a second order. originary positing starting from which every position-as &dquo.someone&dquo. though it could not be reduced to the latter. a supervening metaphor..real&dquo. still less of placing the latter at the former’s disposal. the subject and the flux (save in contexts so reduced and specific that they hardly have any interest but technical: as in the &dquo.in front of&dquo. therefore transforming. there can be no question of separating. that is not placing-something-in-frontof-someone but rather is that by which and in which every placing and every place exists.something&dquo. determinations (from container to contained. SAGE Publications. from matter to form.interpretation&dquo.mind&dquo. the &dquo. of a subject or ‘‘determination&dquo. whence results. This blossoming forth. but as holding itself [se tenctnt] apart from the representational flux) and the &dquo. a representation in the &dquo.its representations&dquo. a reflection of the flux (which always remains caught within the tlux) and a subject of this reflection emerge is again decisive-but of a second order. There is a Vorstellung. consciousness.. thereof: man.act&dquo. the almost ineluctable necessity of thinking this relationship under the habitual &dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. (as ob-ject. the originary surging forth of an impersonal and non-thing-like there is-that by which there always is a world and that which always is. whatever its particular tenor incidentally might be. the interminable (and vain) effort to rid oneself of these determinations. either. possesses. a putting forward-a positing in advance-a before that is not &dquo.turning back on&dquo.active&dquo. Inherited thought cannot conserve within itself for one instant this primaiy ontological region. (as subject. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. but nonetheless constructed.real&dquo.partially&dquo. It never can be so. Gegen-stand. from producer to product. within the representational flux. certainly legitimate in its moment. which are ineffaceably inscribed in the very enunciation of the question.. and even &dquo. The night of identity is a thought of &dquo. even &dquo. and thereby immediately dissociating that which there is in something for someone. thus covering it over straight off by means of ulterior logicoontological determinations. in a preceding night of identity. soul.

any more.second order. on the one hand and above all. but rather emergence. therefore. the subject is only as synthesis occurring to the emergent representational flux. logically. As much as thought itself.representable&dquo. . we cannot think it as &dquo. or even the representational flux)..its intentions&dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty.insertion (of the seer) in the visible&dquo. is an immediate consequence of the fact that there is no thought without language and no &dquo.of the subject&dquo. than there is a &dquo. SAGE Publications.: an indescribable reciprocal implication of the &dquo. implying a re-presentation of the representation) and in which the raw spontaneity of the radical imagination has in part converted itself into reflected spontaneity. the representational flux. in the &dquo.the&dquo. and &dquo. representational-affectiveintentional flux in which has emerged the permanent possibility of reflection (as modality of representation. if they presuppose. Perception of the real and reflection supervene as true syntheses. and in fact almost always both at the same time. in a time that is at once psychogenetically. (of the seer in the visible.subject&dquo. perception of something &dquo. and &dquo.derivatives&dquo.representation&dquo.real&dquo. the representational flux. indeed.sagepub.representational picture&dquo. nor covering over of the one by the other. This reciprocal inherence that is neither identity. within the representational flux (we are limiting ourselves to this abstraction for the moment in order to be brief). that is to say. This is the reason why the interminably difficult questions they pose have been rendered properly unthinkable within the traditional outlook [perspective]. any more than there is any perception without elementary logical forms). representation is as representation &dquo. which might appear scandalous.. All rights reserved. sometimes &dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. as quasi-separated.represented&dquo. or of the &dquo. Ltd..-and outstripping the subject.of the subject&dquo. they could at no moment be deduced. from beginning to end. of the representation and of the &dquo. but always also this indeterminate representational flux..its affects&dquo. has no name among the relations of inherited logic.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. and infinitely more than the &dquo. only starting from the moment when a subject is. by means of the creation and social-historical institution of a language and of a public world.mind that has representations&dquo. incompletion Downloaded from http://the. is something else entirely than a &dquo. the &dquo. the thing as it is perceived is a creation of the social-historical radical imaginary (this proposition.realistic&dquo. In particular.of the representation&dquo. for we would still then be missing its absolutely decisive aspects.insertion&dquo. shows us...13 &dquo. and ontologically of a . That. does not signify that we would be dealing here with mere &dquo.egological&dquo. nor simple difference.: the subject is that. For. nor intersection defining an assignable common part.. continued creation... We would miss. which we must think starting from itself. What the true way of considering representation. which is sometimes &dquo. produced. and reflection referred to a subject of the reflection.subject&dquo.. Representation &dquo.transcendental language&dquo. emerge.and outstripping every given representation. or constructed starting from the latter. the fundamental fact that there is nothing visible that is fully given and completely made in which the seer could insert him/herself. subject &dquo.

time. 194. or compose music. with a being-of-always (aei).being-mine&dquo.from my side&dquo. &dquo. are rigorously situated on the same terrain as what they contradict. a relationship) between these two &dquo. 247. of the visible.having&dquo. We would thereby also miss the genuine essence of the question of temporality.. being only X. before both what always qualifies it and what. viewpoints. a negative nothingness. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. they posit the same structure of relations between the two &dquo. From a profound point of view. Like its venerable Kantian ancestor. it other than by comparison with &dquo.having&dquo. and we would continue to be condemned to posit it simply as an X that would come &dquo.to animate the perceived world and language&dquo. Merleau-Ponty knew so well how to denounce apropos of behaviour and of perception. inevitably refers back to an already completed circuit that lacks only a puff of air [snuffle] for it to begin functioning.relationship&dquo.parts&dquo. a concept that contradicts itself simply and not mediately. after all.spatial&dquo. which are only simple negations and inversions of the corresponding &dquo. (which is not.terms&dquo. at the same time.anthropological&dquo. Both posit the &dquo.. still less dream. 255F/190. the other (whatever commentaries one might hasten to present on the metaphoricality of this usage of &dquo.language has man&dquo. (ibid. All rights reserved.man has language&dquo. but really apart-in a watertight pocket-so that it might not interfere with his/her functioning as a seer? Finally. of the seer and of the visible makes it impossible to comprehend how the seer could ever take some distance with regard to what is as visible. an absolute nothing. (or &dquo. there is strictly no difference between the pronouncements &dquo.) and yet.transcendental&dquo. 202E). (ibid. 244F/190E)-therefore in this mysterious schema of &dquo.relativize&dquo. In this way we would remain-and this is what actually occurs in The Visible and the Invisible-with a series of brute aporias.seer inserted in the visible&dquo. of interrogations totally disarmed before the being of the subject (cf.I do not perceive any more than I speak-Perception has me as has language&dquo. or a clock that s/he transports &dquo.anthropolonever [inacb8vement] that is filled out We would remain in the rut of the traditional Downloaded from http://the. how s/he ever could turn him/herself away from it.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. &dquo. ontology. we would render ourselves incapable even of beginning to think the question of subjectivity.)-these Heideggerian pronouncements. an hour the seer reads on the visible. and which. it may be doubted that the most insipid &dquo. in the mode of one of them &dquo.) pronouncements. pp.relationship&dquo. in a sense other than descriptive and external. they take into consideration while limiting themselves to a permutation thereof.animation&dquo. since this way of conceiving the &dquo. Ltd. it cannot but be everywhere and always essentially the same-therefore.. this X would have to be different each time. . enter into delirium. makes of it each time a &dquo. whatever one might do. SAGE Publications. since it is &dquo.within him/herself&dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.14 but rather transforms itself into another incompletion. what could time be if not either an &dquo. and therefore they belong to the same order of thought. always and simply given and given to be seen. invent something..objective&dquo. (p. a distance that is qualitatively other than the one that might metaphorically be posited between &dquo. and &dquo. since for a &dquo.terms&dquo. 244.sagepub. properly speaking.

the sui generis relationship of language and the speaking subject. transcendence.sagepub.have&dquo. opening to being. the world &dquo. granted that his/her representation.. and even. (Being here visibly and simply means the totality of beings [6tant.reaches&dquo.-and the immediate aporias to which what he thinks of it leads him-starting from a Note of May 1960 entitled &dquo. (pp. I3eing-including. the flesh) if our relation with the world is Tlo~:stellung. how can I know that what it reaches of it and what mine reaches of it are identical. reaches the wild Being. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. representation of the world. It is a matter of &dquo. ’Visual Picture’ ---7 ’representation of the world’ Todo y Nada&dquo. but always &dquo. Downloaded from http://the. Yet. The pistol. moreover. the second-order question of the meaning of being of the world. SAGE Publications. jams and this suppression of the reveals its own impossibility in the very phrase that intends it: representation the obvious-but astonishing. and leaves wholly outstanding the question raised by the other and by &dquo. which it succeeds better in masking in other contexts: this negation of anthropology is only a concealed theology. has the In Itself as the meaning of its being. reveals here its essence. considering the foregoing-affirmation that the representation never &dquo. a rigorous identity. Ltd. That is.. this &dquo. All rights reserved.. comparable. that is.his/her&dquo.reach&dquo.thinking of Being&dquo.represented&dquo. . 306-307F/252-253E). the wild Being.generaliz[ing] the critique of the visual picture into a critique of ’Vorstellung’ &dquo.. to arrive at a ever critique of the meaning of being given by both to the thing and to the world. language as they have their shirt). the wild Being at the same time restores the representation in a primordial place. want to and apart from which there exists the world itself. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. or what you will.reaches&dquo. as eidos of itself.representation&dquo..15 gists&dquo. the Other represents the world to himself. which is . Nor does the suppression of the representation by a pistol shot eliminate the problem posed by the other and by his/her perception of the world.representations&dquo. exhaust and which all &dquo. puts it back into a position of exteriority relative to this Being that it &dquo.exhausting&dquo. for each mind.e. there is for him an internal object which is nowhere. ideali~y.moment&dquo.represented&dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. ~That I do is restore the world as a meaning of Being absolutely different from the &dquo. divergence.. as the vertical Being which none of the &dquo. or participable by him/her and by me? Such a participability.51). thereby show that they are incapable of thinking what is at issue here in its irreducible originality. One can still detail what Merleau-Ponty thinks of as &dquo. like mine. the meaning of being In Itself-(in itself not referred to what alone gives it meaning: distance.. The &dquo.exhausts&dquo. For. and the decision to refuse to it the meaning of being In Itself-which we shall not discuss here-cannot make me deny the being of the representation if the latter elsewhere offers itself primordially and indubitably. would be self-assured if there were in effect a means of &dquo. much more. i. and have thought that they &dquo. For example..

them in the &dquo. since quite obviously our public world is not the same as that of the Aztecs or of the hunters of Altarnira-on an ultimate foundation of one world is completely independent of the theory of perception or of representation-even if the latter is understood in the flattest and most insipid sense possible. or &dquo. How then is one to escape the following dilemma: Eitber the meaning of being of the world is effectively In Itself and ideality. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.. has been. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. therefore. I must &dquo. that participability cannot be conceived except on the basis of a postulate bearing on its own conditions of possibility: What each time is reached is &dquo. how is one to avoid. a moment and manner that will never be mine and that I will never be able to do more than think-andrepresent-to-myself-does that really change anything at all in the situation and in its interminable enigmas. I therefore cannot prevent. Ltd. which we constantly settle in life? In any case. as also for all &dquo. that &dquo. is it? That I might say that that is &dquo. or that I might say that it is a moment and a manner for him/her to reach the wild Being without exhausting it. that which the other thinks without saying. is not literally true (or is true only for a thought of the In Itself and of its &dquo. that that tongue includes words without strict equivalent in mine (and.).something&dquo. since partaking interminably of this world are is it? What the African Downloaded from http://the. as soon as I look at an African statuette. 239F/185E) (here again. It is posed. more exactly. properly while all the knowing categorically that it is-where and what speaking..subjective ’lived experiences’ &dquo. ’register’ which is Being&dquo. a supplement of plausibility has to be solicited from the unending progression of concordant explorations: there is a path along which one can show that what I reach of Being and what you reach of it tend to be concordant or to correspond with each other as one advances. It is posed as soon as I ascertain that the other is thinking something that s/he is not saying.16 of Being that is another mind (Hegelianism). simple lnbegriff aller Seienden). All rights reserved. (p. see. quite simply.for him an internal object which is nowhere. The question posed by the duality of private world and public world-of an indefinite number of private worlds and a still greater indefinite number of public worlds. Three idealities. that none of its words is equivalent to those of mine). therefore. As that. due to the simple fact that it once was for a single person as a fleeting thought and for me a mere ideality I cannot even designate except in empty fashion.sagepub. Now. It is posed as soon as I ascertain. .reflections&dquo. long before his/her contamination by a bad philosophical theory of the In Itself. and therefore is forever in the mode of having once been so.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. if the other has not spoken of it. SAGE Publications. This path being closed off..the same&dquo.homogeneous&dquo. which is ideality&dquo. or &dquo.comparable&dquo. quite obviously. and what I will never. in the way in which Merleau-Ponty poses the problem (and which comes from Husserl). in learning a tongue [langue].. an interminable catalogue of beings [étants]. instead of one. where is it? And what sees in his/her statuette.enter&dquo. which is to say that it is constitutive of the already double world of a two-year-old child.

.. the meaning of being is equivalent to &dquo. what I see passes into him. and &dquo. However. &dquo. etc. And this in effect is what. whatever our interpretation of perception. is essentially empty. the return to the idea of a co-naturality or a co-nativity of seers. obliged to postulate: &dquo.. we have said. we are plunged hopelessly into the Ocean of the compossibility of an indefinite number not only of worlds. &dquo. the abstraction is effectuable. but also of private meanings of being. be it of a different quality or of a superior order. but there is &dquo.. indeed.there does not exist some huge animal whose organs our bodies would be&dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. SAGE Publications. How. save nominally. for example.sagepub. to the extent. All rights reserved.an absolute mystery... which in other respects are completely unassignable. you would in the end have thought .com by Luciano Garcia on September 29.meaning&dquo. of representation. and. for the visible.a ray of natural light that illuminates all flesh and not only my own&dquo. Surely. An In Itself and an ideality infinitely more pronounced than those that science is. and they result from the way in which the problem is posed.. etc.scientific subjects abstractly identical to us would have observed that . Then. nor a it were the imminent experience of them. Ltd. by an essential necessity. Or else. essentially and necessarily inaccessible to me and to all save one (the last thought of the last person entered on the death register of the city of Beauvais for the year 1788)... of the social-historical and of its institution? To the extent that one wants to escape from them. there being no means to allow one to give an identical or different content to &dquo. 187F/142E).. of the other are for me &dquo. it claims to designate an undesignatable content and postulates an essentially ineffectuable operation. the phrase &dquo.the continents two hundred million years ago had such and such a form&dquo. just as the content of the statement is interminably justifiable. is one to think the question of the public world.Why would not the synergy exist among different organisms. while eliminating or while forgetting what public means. That the &dquo. that it cannot escape from it-there remains only one recourse. &dquo. and then there is not one meaning of being. must make of the alter ego an intractable impossibility and cannot escape from solipsism except by committing suicide-therefore. too..: &dquo. is proposed in the chapter entitled &dquo. or &dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. .: &dquo. while wanting to think it in the active forgetting of the koinotes and of the koinonia and of that which makes them be-namely.. for me to have not an idea. through the concordant operation of his body and my own.being for X&dquo. These aporias are immediate. it but as representation.tactile reliefs&dquo. if it is possible within each?&dquo. (p. that it has been recognized that the phenomenological attitude.somethings&dquo.being for me&dquo.colours&dquo.The Intertwining-The Chiasm&dquo. since this meaning of being. suffices that I look at a landscape. has as its &dquo. Downloaded from http://the. is doubly empty. this individual green of the meadow is not completely true.having been for someone&dquo..17 the innumerable &dquo. henceforth.to have been for someone&dquo. of the 6~osa~eos koinos.if you were the last person entered on the death register. in this case. &dquo. that I speak of it with someone. forever inaccessible&dquo. an image..

The &dquo.sagepub.as it were .com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. have flesh. If seeing. not he who sees&dquo. hallucinating person. is true only cum grano salis-a grain so large.the concordant operation&dquo. or drunk would suffice to challenge it. the &dquo... not he who sees. I recognize in my green his green . linger to borrow Merleau-Ponty’s expression. completely. we would be the last to doubt. and Picasso. All rights reserved. sectionable and made of a freely transferable product: thas green. however. interminably. 187188F/142E. but this role-of leaning on [... being an individual. a vision in general.it is not 1 who sees. If they sufficed. this flat coincidence. nor I. and &dquo. not over different bodies-that is to say.what I see passes into him&dquo. by preventing in advance the other from being &dquo..I recognize in my green his green&dquo. would be true only if I passed into him. while plunging him into a natural generality that will permit anonymous visibility to inhabit both of us. than one can see why and how &dquo.is not completely true&dquo. but plays an ineliminable role in all of the questions that are of concern to us. because an anonymous visibility inhabits both of us. imminent experience&dquo. of radiating everywhere and forever. Merleau-Ponty renders the individual unthinkable. with my childhood memories and especially those ones that I do not know. . indeed. truly speaking. the description &dquo. my preoccupations of the moment. For.vision in general&dquo.. in virtue of that primordial property that belongs to the flesh. That such a natural generality not only exists. being here and now. Ltd.6tayagel and of induction into the social/historical institution of the worldabsolutely does not suffice to resolve them.what I see passes into him&dquo. of being also a dimension and a universal. and not even any discussion whatsoever-for one does not see where and why the concord of operations would cease and why it would not be prolonged into concord and identity of all discourses. In fact.anonymous visibility&dquo. Rembrandt. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. as Merleau-Ponty elsewhere has shown Downloaded from http://the. is coined or converted in such different fashions among Giotto. and the existence of a single Daltonian. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. that we hold to nothing and are held by nothing outside this atomic encounter.18 under my eyes invades his vision without quitting my own. SAGE Publications. and so on. (pp. which passes from me into him without alteration-and rightly so. these gardens of Athens where for the first time and forever afterward I have seen and been green. does not amount to the experience without qualifications. &dquo. that it would suffice to salt the foods of all generations to come. my way of aging in relation to the light and to colours that do not cease to amaze me... the Verde io te quiero verse that so often obsesses me. it would then be necessary to state categorically that neither this green. One guards against this by giving oneself &dquo. Or else. &dquo. there would never be any philosophy. emphases added for the first two italicized phrases) will only the exploration of another impasse-and we Quite obviously. is something other than a tale of retinas. since &dquo. There is here no problem of the alter ego because it was not I who sees. any more. of What we have here is it.be who sees&dquo.

it and renders it participable. than a difference between things and colors. for apart from &dquo. then not it is in effect the entire seer that is at issue in vision.sagepub. is. all the while being possible.: it is perhaps especially so.To fill&dquo. and the red of blood. the participable [part] of colour passes therefore-can pass? must pass?-by way of speech [la parole]. pure essence of the Revolution of 1917. and finally gypsies. As much as the description justifies the important final idea-that a colour is &dquo. and only his/her corporeal synergies: his/her history. pure instrument or diaphanous medium. a very bad expression.-so much does it also show that if I speak of it to someone. but a becoming and a historical institution of this visibility and of that which at once &dquo.personal institution&dquo.to make be&dquo.distances&dquo. thought. of the two seers. I speak. a vision in general.proximity&dquo.passes into him&dquo. exclude the possibility of thinking the being of error other than as a deficit and absence of truth.. the public prosecutor. that it alway. thereforeand to &dquo.that I speak of it with someone&dquo. bishops. more specifically. in another sense. Ltd. his/her &dquo. &dquo. &dquo.. Or. and just as little would he think that it could be limited to being only speech.. if we dare permit ourselves this expression. involved. language. quite evidently. this way of posing the question excludes one from ever being able to entire sex.. and of which it must be said. the flags of gatekeepers and of the Revolution. here or anywhere else. which. . writes Merleau-Ponty. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution..com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. Now. a momentary crystallization of colored being or of visibility&dquo. let him have to speak of red-and let him have done so as in the beautiful passage (pp. and it is rather &dquo. and advocate generals.It is also&dquo. &dquo. it suffices &dquo. And surely Merleau-Ponty would be the last to think that speech can be. like all inherited thinking. &dquo. brief.someone&dquo. who reigned twenty-five years ago over an inn on the ChampsElys6es. do not concern solely an anonymous visibility. adornments and uniforms.19 quite well. SAGE Publications. the dresses of women. whatever the &dquo. dressed like hussars. the eternal feminine.a certain red is also a fossil drawn up from the depths of imaginary worlds&dquo.fills&dquo. all the reds evoked in this passage are historical reds. All rights reserved..personal institutions&dquo. The encounter of two seers then challenges something other and something much more than anonymous visibility and vision in general. robes of professors.. it can only be a more or less broad and deep coincidence of two &dquo. moreover. only by means of all these references implicitly at work-references that.. is never assured.what I see&dquo.. that must be said: the red Downloaded from http://the. To have the colours of the other as an imminent experience.certain terrains near Aix or in Madagascar&dquo.less a color or a thing . highly dependent on their social-historical institution which makes them each exist as an individual. and all of them inseparable from-indefinable without-their heavy imaginary charge: the tiles of rooftops.sfails. 173-175F/130133E) that opens the chapter discussed here and concludes with &dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. world-in think this necessity of the failure of concordance-in the same manner in which and for reasons profoundly analogous to those that make it. and. whatever the social-historical and personal &dquo. The transferability. that in a sense it always succeeds.

All rights reserved.&dquo. The remark on the cultural-historical character of perception. unmixed with perception.natural&dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. a knowledge come to add to and recapture and rectify the natural generality of my body and of the world&dquo. 306-307F/252-253E).) (our perception is cultural-historical) and everything is natural in us (even the cultural rests on the polymorphism of the wild Being).sagepub.Moreover the distinction between the two planes (natural and cultural) is abstract: everything is cultural in us (our Lebenswelt is &dquo. render this idea impossible.. it is likely that grandchildren. But also.. etc. notably through the place accorded to language and to speech.-is here again only a support [6tayagel. there is no &dquo. be specified in terms of wavelengths. thinkable apart from the rest-thus. links back up with numerous previous formulations. that would be. the Red of the Revolution introduces another and a new differentiation. the red of which it could be a question is a historical red. will understand nothing about these gypsies on the Champs Elys6es (will see nothing therein). itself part of the institution of the world that continues to make itself in and through history. This may be seen again in the same May 1960 Note previously cited (pp. In this way. 1~9-204F/144-155E). levels of brightness. he adds it not only for those who see therein the red of the Revolution. far from being 3 accidental or isolated.[TJhere is to be sure a question . and this is not by accident: the path it opens leaves immediately the ontological field in which Merleau-Ponty continues to situate himself. however. moreover.: as these imaginary worlds continue to make themselves. another and a new modulation to those that the colour red had made until that point. Ltd. SAGE Publications. certain formulations still accredit the idea of a naturality.20 of the eternal feminine is certainly not so for other cultures. 220F/152E: &dquo. If. the natural red-the one whose physical characteristics could. that the implications have not been drawn therefrom as concerns the thematic treatment of perception. To say that one might find others that would have the same (visible) meaning would be to annul precisely the signification of this whole description. the red is not finished. . de jure and even ~le jacto. &dquo.3 It is clear. red given once and for all. unless they are buffs of fossilized films. and none of the examples cited would make Aristotle see anything at all. and as such it continues to make itself as part of the concretion of visibility. obviously. what expresses it or proceeds therefrom ultimately is only juxtaposed to the central inspiration. Yet this knowledge does not succeed in becoming the point for a new departure that it nevertheless demands to be. For. by what miracle a created generality.fossil drawn up from the depths of imaginary worlds&dquo. at moments. p.subjective&dquo. saturation. since that would amount to affirming that in all this it was a matter only of strictly intersubstitutable instances of a generality given in its essence once and for all. And then we no longer can speak simply of a &dquo. and its ambiguous character is thus constantly renewed. a culture. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. (emphasis added)-the developments in the last pages of his manuscript (pp. Merleau-Ponty knew perfectly well. All that.. If our perception is culturalmy Downloaded from http://the.

if its relationship to the institution from which it proceeds is characterized by this fantastic liberty that permits it to take. that it always remains enveloped therein. of men. Ltd.real&dquo. finally. think this institution either as &dquo. elle-merYte]. These schemata have to render possible the &dquo.thing&dquo. in relation to the institution. of the rules and references of making/doing and of saying (Merleau-Ponty remarks. it too originates in the institution. ~Ie cannot. It is quite obviously impossible for these organizations-of things. of acts.. this relationship accords this liberty only inasmuch Downloaded from http://the. since such conditions are. not to say stupidly. by society. ungraspable and unassignable outside this social institution. conditions in which society would be placed. in the same Note: &dquo. each time. the shared mode of representing. whether one can thus distinguish any &dquo. from which this institution might be derived. that it itself proceeds from a particular social-historical institution and from the social-historical institution of discourse as such. All rights reserved. of perception are social-historical in origin and in what manner they are so.. posited as a &dquo.giving itself&dquo. But the institution of what? As culture does not install in us mechanical devices for the transformation of sensory data.21 historical. as it incontestably is. of what is. reciprocal inherence-which we shall have to explore-for each society of the positing and view of &dquo.sublimation&dquo.archetype&dquo. in part and according to modalities to be explored.. this institution can concern only representation itself. or minicomputers for the elaboration of these data differently programmed in Babylon and in Venice. something or making it be. each time.).perception&dquo. it becomes important and urgent to explore the consequences of this fact. all conceivable distances.components&dquo. a discourse could have such a pretention only by forgetting naively. and. what you will. there is cohesion. SAGE Publications. since they have to organize the totality of the actual social sphere [du social effectgl. a shared and public world of and for this society.. or as &dquo. and that. of &dquo. anything &dquo.. trivialities apart. whether one can even preserve the traditional sense of &dquo. One cannot give oneself anything &dquo.sagepub. . 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. There is therefore an institution..reflection&dquo. as well as of what is. of the &dquo. thinkable. short of falling into absurdity.. of the world qua kosmos koinos.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. To say that our perception is cultural-historical is to say that. not only could it not be a question of maintaining for it any ontological privilege whatsoever or the status of &dquo. and in which this society necessarily also itself posits itself [se pose .moment of Reason&dquo. internal solidarity.perception&dquo.natural things&dquo. it is therefore-we shall return to this point at length-the institution of schemata and figures that render representation possible as participable and making/doing [lefairel collective.components&dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.. relative to other forms of access to what is.rational in itself&dquo. to ask oneself what &dquo. of the status of men. any more than we can see therein a &dquo.real in itself&dquo. therein and impute them in a distinct way to this or that origin. but they have to do much more than this. of thoughts-to be separated from and to be independent of each other. would it only be because such an affirmation makes of the one who enunciates it Absolute Knowledge in person.a way of thinking oneself within a society is implied in its social structure&dquo.

implied in being [e~~j&horbar. presence is an excrescence of the requisite of determinacy. For.4 Perhaps one day will be discovered a pre-Socratic fragment containing the phrase: nun to aei. remain distances of and within this space. save under a provisional or path-breaking heading [1i titre provisoire ou de c.the on 0 on or the einai of the on-no longer can be thought.eternity&dquo. manifestation of the radical imaginary.? Let us limit ourselves to noting the naturalness of Being as it is thus incidentally affirmed. that reveals itself each time in and through this institution -this is evident (which certainly in no way dispenses us from having to explore this evidence). inasmuch as these distances.. of self-presence. In what sense. within limits so broad that they have no interest. of~ c~e jure achievable determinability-therefore a determinability achieved since the intemporal always. autotès. and each institution of a society.ber~iner~eeut]. on the basis of any presence whatsoever.. the thinking of being cancelled Downloaded from http://the.always&dquo. always will be/will appear therefore. on the basis of appearing. Ltd. Presence has never been anything else but coincidence (implicitly and unconsciously posited very early on in GrecoWestern ontology).. The signification &dquo. or. be they &dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty.already given&dquo.-then it must very well be understood that it is the entire outlook of the inherited ontology that is being abandoned. the forrns-the eide-far from being exhausted. kat’~uto. would it only be because the thought of the necessary and sufficient conditions is only a minuscule by-product of the social institution. between &dquo.on the polymorphism of the wild Being&dquo. and let us ask what could be meant here by &dquo. as to the real as well as to the rational. more generally.resting&dquo.natural&dquo. . If this signifies a simple negative condition-that. It is a making-be. an indefinite number of different social-historical institutions of a public world is possible. and inasmuch as one could escape from them only in order to enter immediately into another space. save by a fallacious tautology. For.to be&dquo. as that of pure insanity.sagepub.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. phe~ia2esthe~i. It is creation. we no longer then can make of this polymorphism the polymorphism of something acquired and de jure already determined or determined in itself. which could never find necessary and sufficient conditions outside itself. can one say that it would also be &dquo. arbitrary and unmotivated in its essential elements. of presence-for.elsewhere&dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. If. All rights reserved. and since an intemporal &dquo. that the diversity of modes of institution of society refers us back ineluctably to a plasticity or lability of a &dquo. this signifies that across these diverse simultaneous and successive institutions is deployed and actively expressed a polymorphism that could not. however. The social-historical institution as such. In any case. along with the implicit but always sovereign signification of: Being.relationships&dquo. any more than on the basis of self-sameness [soi-ité].22 the relationship remains this relationship.. be made into the materialization of possibilities fully preconstituted &dquo. that is to say. the impossible identity of a now-instant and an intemporal &dquo. SAGE Publications.substrate&dquo. this polymorphism is emergence of the other. forms are retroactively modified. because it would rest &dquo.infinite&dquo. surge forth as new and original-and thereby the &dquo. then.

determination. This contraction of a past beyond every simply past (by-gone fr6voltil) past and of a future exceeding every conceivable future which Aristotle forces to meet by teleological fulguration (every ontology uses time only in order to abolish it: a telos immanent to becoming signifies literally that the end is posited before the beginning.sagepub. that is to say. This fidelity. of ousia. The essence or ousia of the being [6tant) consists in its beingsomething-determinate (ti: the what . as to ti On einai. ’I’he least bad translation into modern language is undoubtedly the one Heidegger offered when speaking of Geschick des Seire. what it was [6tait] to be. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. . since nothing is except in being [8tant] and from the fact that it is a determinate this: the ti of the ti On einai is indissociably the interrogative of the determination (ti estin?) and the definitive of the being-something (esti ti).com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. Into the essence of the being [6tantl thus fixed are contracted originarily the fact of being and the being-thus. All rights reserved. like the conflation of the grammatical significations of the insignificant and infinite vocable ti. More clearly than everywhere else-more clearly still itself out as soon as it soon as it than in the second-order.23 became the thinking of determination. This formulation is of some utility inasmuch as it shatters determinacy and. and that temporality is purely external). and so on) as expressed in this tiny syntagma-to ti On einai. and the limitations. 76 ti On einai: what. immanence of the end to the origin. but truly to suppress it.ontological difference&dquo.the&dquo. as attempted to make ontology be absorbed by logic-as soon as it tried. since always.Otre de 1’6tant]. ). ultimate or primary signification-the signification: &dquo. undoubtedly should make one reflect again on the question of &dquo. by Aristotle. Ltd. determined since always in the imperfect of eternity (..s: that to which (something) was destined or assigned lappi&dquo. the what it will be to be. of the following proposition: the essence of being [l’8tani] is the to ti estai einai. determines it forever through the infinitive of eternal finality (einai). If one comprehends the deep-seated.On). and almost fatal error implied in this assimilation of &dquo.. what it was to be-one will also comprehend the propaedeutic utility. what it had [aiJaii] to be. in place Downloaded from http://the. in spite of so many electoral proclamations. and this determination. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. to the spirit of Aristotle. therefore predetermination (all of them interminably being coined as presence of the cause in its effects. as involuntary as it is unexpected. not to suspend temporality provisionally by transcendental hypothesis. explain the apparently insurmountable difficulties and the indefinite commentaries of very learned and very competent translators confronted with this little expression whose Greek construction [facture] has nothing exceptional or mysterious about it. SAGE Publications.-to destination.opr181 by Being and that makes that it is. that [cela] was determined forever to be and which thus makes it that that [que cell is in being this. which materializes the conflation of the Dass-seiv~ with the Wlas-sein and through which Aristotle ultimately affirms that to be signifies to be something determinate (since always and forever). and of its possibility.to be&dquo.. assignment [appropriation]. derived character of time found in Plato’s Timaeus5 this may be seen in the determination of the being of being [1’.

other relations. we ought to say that in truth this signification is: to-be [d-Otrel. and which we see at work in its most eminent manner in human history. A utility that is only propaedeutic and limited. deports it into an estai of open alterity. or representative of Christ on Earth is to force the meaning of words. the obligatory perception of of another as traffic cop. demanding and capable of explanation. to shed further light on the signification of: to be. are instituted (for that which relates to the modes of being of the &dquo. of perceiving.sagepub.outside culture&dquo. But then. inasmuch as it helps to shake up the traditional thought of Being-achieved. we want to think &dquo. in relation to the being of the social-historical sphere and as something other than an external description. qua institution of a public world. if. SAGE Publications. that already leads to a radical condemnation of the entire egological frame of reference within which. Being-achieved.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. the relationships. These risks can be reduced (but never eliminated) by means of an exploration of temporality. is and of &dquo. .variant&dquo. which we are therefore unable in any way to exhaust within the horizon of any sort of determinacy whatsoever. the eid8.24 fixing the einai in the On of destination. to take an example often cited by Merleau-Ponty). or perception &dquo. perpetual origination. it is-can no longer be thought as Being-given. emergence of otber types. which concerns not only &dquo. If perception is.the manner in which&dquo. becoming the given.natural&dquo.that which&dquo. Being-determined. starting from the mode of being of this being [8tant] that is the social-historical. the reciprocal inherence of &dquo. that would furnish us the tertium comparationis relative to which such and such a historical specification of perception would appear as a &dquo. and within which alone..: to call &dquo.concrete existents&dquo. but as continued creation. but does so only by inverting the signs within a temporality that risks. &dquo. but rather to a hyperpbusis as an engendering irreducible to the engendered. however. which will be done elsewhere. object as well as for some formative schemata of perceiving-such as perspective. But then. We can say that everything is natural in us (and outside us) on the condition that we no longer refer to a phusis. and being thought as a positivity whose fulfilment is constantly deferred. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. forms thus or otherwise the perception of the subject-and. as it incontestably is. Downloaded from http://the. If.the polymorphism of the wild Being&dquo. the production of what is in the repetition of what has been according to given norms. some nontrivial components of perception. also what Merleau-Ponty calls Being-namely.everything is natural in us&dquo. if we want. namely. the types. social-historical. be it real or rational. Ltd. other norms. to do so without our being able to refer to an allegedly &dquo.natural&dquo. and is not reproduction of other exemplars of the same.. neither can we say without equivocation that &dquo. in its turn. but also and essentially the forms. We are then obliged to question ourselves about the ways in which and the means by which the institution of the social sphere. All rights reserved.. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. therefore. ontological genesis. Secretary General of the CPSU. therefore. perception has until now and has always been considered. what is most important.natural&dquo. the generalities.cultural&dquo. perception.

all. as ultimate fallacious recourse. qua perception tout court. of the same universal saying.perception&dquo. the question of the world. or from being. nor.public&dquo. a situation in which we are equally obliged to explore a specification of different tongues relative to a saying that is something entirely other than a &dquo. Neither the suppression of representation nor any other philosophical arti- Downloaded from http://the. and which nevertheless does not prevent them. it is hard to see how the world tout court. or even to think more clearly. and which therefore truly is apart from them all-in a &dquo.variation&dquo. or reversibility of the visible and the invisible allow one to &dquo. worlds among different cultures.. SAGE Publications.reaches it but does not exhaust it&dquo.musical ideas&dquo. All rights reserved. without success. for Merleau-Ponty-than system of essences or network of ideal relationships given once and for all and serving as a pivot for perceiving and sensible appearing. a transfinite Hegelianism reuniting the In Itself and the For Itself in a totality. once more.subjective lived experiences&dquo. on which would &dquo.solid reality&dquo.. which makes of it. if it ineliminably includes language.25 In other regard to perception ceases to be essentially regard to tongues. an inexhaustible provisioning certainly. I can then only say. of an indefinite number of different &dquo.. and a &dquo.. in a certain sense. Ltd. the semblance of indubitability &dquo. but one already given. seems to offer vanishes. this polymorphism of historical cultures. . and therefore also through the subjective and social imaginary. the aei of the In Itself and of ideality (with. And here it is a question not of a comparison but rather of a profound homology.resolve&dquo. any meaning of being that would not be ideality. even the notion of flesh or reciprocal invagination. and &dquo.sagepub. of the visible in and through the visible.. our different from our situation with situation with of perception qua &dquo. infinitely weightier.deviation&dquo.cultural beings&dquo. all communication essentially passes also through the &dquo. illocality and intemporality. to the distinction of private world and public world comes to be added the distinction. perception. again purely and doubly ideal. &dquo.cultural&dquo. of all possible cultures). here again. They even render these problems more acute.When?&dquo. &dquo. to intend under the terms of the In Itself or of ideality. and if the invisible is something entirely other-as it is.communication&dquo.rest&dquo. nor anonymous visibility. For. that each culture &dquo. inherence. mutually par-ticipable. then I cannot guarantee myself of any &dquo. It boils down to the same thing to say that it is impossible to separate the organization of the public world posited by the society under consideration from its manifest presentation-representation that is language.invisible&dquo.. could have any status other than that of being In Itself. and. for neither logically nor psychogenetically is it possible to separate the acquisition words. thought. quite evidently. finally.Where?&dquo. For.social structures&dquo.. that is to say.. significations. Thus may it be seen that neither &dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. and acquisition or appropriation by the subject of its tongue. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. of which each culture is partially revelatory. &dquo. on this terrain. from saying. or to short-circuit the problems the tradition was attempting. from or a &dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. if there is no separability of the visible and the invisible. that can be only the no-place and the non-instant.

starting from an ego that necessarily is a solus ipse. and the &dquo.rnodulation&dquo. SAGE Publications. as we shall see.sagepub. each time. to reduce one of them to the other (little matter which to which). which signifies: he tries to undo [défaire] completely the institution that makes him exist as thinking subject. himself. Of course. furthermore. In merely probable university lecture halls he gives courses to students who. of undoing language (this language. or to reunite them by the (purely nominal) invocation of a world that would &dquo. that brings together the blue of a star and the meridian blue of the Mediterranean or makes the one be by way of the other is still almost nothing compared to the alterity that separates me from the being closest to me. them. since the there is is only in and through alterity.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. the public world is what it is and is tout court also because it achieves each time this miracle. a n’dop~ of a day of discussion in the Academy and of a night in the cellar of Lubyanka prison. He interminably undertakes a constitution. It remains the case that this public world is only in being instituted. Let us open a parenthesis here. which no longer concerns Merleau-Ponty. and even coexistence and succession of such creations. Now. for example.. One cannot limit oneself simply to noting this fact while continuing to talk as if nothing had changed. who I am trying to think in this moment of the tumult of universal theory. impossible. the first consequence that follows therefrom is the inanity of every attempt aimed at constituting it in one way or another. of a public world. to want to annul this gap is literally to want to annul the there is. he undoes hardly anything at all. If the public world is each time instituted. incapable as he is. exist as someone for whom there is an enigma-which certainly in no way abolishes it as an enigma. or Downloaded from http://the.precede&dquo. . that of arranging and assuring the possibility of an indefinite number of different and indefinitely renewed private worlds. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. For. as ego. in a typical and even ineluctable fashion. are redundant and. The gap between private worlds obviously is not abolished by the institution. in order to remake [refaire] it starting from pure activity of thought that would owe nothing to anything and everything to itself. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. All rights reserved. The situation of the philosopher when he proceeds thus-and which Flusserl last incarnated in exemplary fashion-cannot but be striking. At no moment does he seem to suspect that the enigma he poses to himself had not already been settled in fact-it would not exist for him any more as an enigma than he would. nothing guarantees that they perceive the sounds he produces or that they are not thinking that they are attending a course of David Hume’s. as alter. Ltd. this alterity can truly be alterity only inasmuch as something other makes itself be. or the &dquo. which are for its existence and its functioning something entirely other than an external boundary or a heap of formless shavings.differentiation&dquo. and.26 fice will allow one to annul the distance between private world and public between such and such a public world and another such one. it is social-historical creation as such. rather.. but does mark and irrevocably condemn certain exploratory &dquo.paths&dquo. German in its de f~acto state at the time) ever world.

. If it is true. this subjectivity is no more subjectivity than it is thinkable as simply &dquo.root&dquo. to break free therefrom. The phrase appears mysterious because it signifies the negation of what it says. for then he speaks of &dquo. inasmuch as he never thinks except within the egological coordinates of the cogito. nor can its &dquo. and that all the significations with which he is dealing have been instituted or presuppose other ones that have been. dated. is sociality-historicity. on the one hand. at the age of seventy. as if he could be the product of a few acts of consciousness signed. how is one to distinguish in the tongue what is &dquo. in which a thought can intend the true and in which the idea of the true emerges is an indefinite and anonymous collectivity in and through its social-historical institution-therefore: &dquo. indeed. finally. Downloaded from http://the.transcendental subjectivity&dquo.reactivation&dquo. as Merleau-Ponty wrote (7he Prose of the World. is non-subjectivity and non-transcendental. I-Ie discovers.. For. once it is admitted that the tongue is neither accidental nor external to thought. society. the &dquo. signifies: &dquo. be carried out within the framework of the latter.constitution&dquo. is more than confirmed in Tube Visible and the Invisible (&dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29.27 while continuing to think. from what is &dquo. an expression that appears mysterious to other philosophers but which one must not hasten to condemn. He then falls into this other bit of na*fvet6. Such na’ivete is nevertheless inevitable. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. similarly. to this same order of reflection that the distinction.contingent&dquo. to this tongue spoken by these men in order to speak their world? Understood in the necessity of the path that leads to it..transcendental subjectivity as intersubjectivity&dquo.. and necessary and sufficient to pure expression. 42).transcendental subjectivity&dquo. of thinking-speaking and of perceiving belongs. and for the same deep-seated reasons.reactivation&dquo. taken as absolute. the phrase &dquo. and lending themselves to &dquo. to the saying as such of something in general. He remains caught up therein even when he tries. norm. clearly affirmed by Merleau-Ponty as early as his Phenomenology of Perception.place&dquo. of this bygone institution-as if the Ocean of significations in which he bathes could ever be re-made in an originary reactivation. in a last effort.empirical&dquo. It is. reproduction by a consciousness of the ontological genesis of significations such as other. or &dquo. as if the idea that there might ever be &dquo. 172F/130E). still conditioned by the same egological phantasm. that the alter ego resists constitution and subsists as a brute aporia. that language could not take &dquo.. that of the &dquo. Ltd.transcendental&dquo..in a sensible world which had already ceased to be a private world&dquo. p.sagepub. All rights reserved. that he is caught in a Lebenswelt and even in a history. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. it is just as true. SAGE Publications. were not disqualified in its very enunciation. translated from the tangled language of philosophical egotism into more direct language.-for.. however. &dquo. starting from the moment that one is really obliged to grant.transcendental subjectivity&dquo.transcendental subjectivity is intersubjectivity&dquo.as soon as we distinguish thought from speaking absolutely we are already in the order of reflection&dquo. tongue.reactivation&dquo. except &dquo. no longer can be individual subjectivity. despite thirty years (and thirty centuries) of efforts.transcendental&dquo. . The inseparability of speaking and of thinking. he writes on p.

sort (pp. its being boils down to its being-thinkable and. and everything that it conveys..7. first &dquo. to perception and to language. Ltd. for one will never actually be able to strike from this perceived world what language has contributed to its organization. this expression here becomes abusive. from behavior to themati&dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.sagepub.the same being that perceives and that speaks&dquo. Downloaded from http://the..). evident that the institution of a public world cannot but be at the same time and indissociably institution of language and institution of perception in the full sense of the term. It is. In still other terms. a perception and a language that can be neither confounded nor dissociated. the consciousness of &dquo. in perceiving. 229-230F/176E)-formulations that.. p..private world&dquo.. or of the &dquo. . no more than perception’s inherence in speech would suffice to make of speech a seeing and feeling of thoughts would the inherence of language in the world of perception be able to dissolve the world into a simply thought-spoken world or reduce its being to being-thought: this reduction could have a semblance of justification only for one who has previously decided that. the Cogito. (not in the sense that sometimes it perceives and sometimes it speaks. one more time. that to be signifies that. All rights reserved. For. everything on which speech depends. in a &dquo.pure lived experience&dquo. the inherence. SAGE Publications.. 255F/202E) is only a reflective abstraction. that speech &dquo.the passage from the perceptual meaning to the language meaning. ( V.28 that it is cease to only by be a means of language that the sensible world has been able to since it is in &dquo. this is the case..private world&dquo. as &dquo. 225F/171E). in any case. in a sense. but that it perceives only qua speaking and speaks only qua perceiving). than the shake-up of the distinc. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. supported by the continued phenomenological illusion that makes the philosopher believe that s/he might be able to find in perception a &dquo. The problem is not that of &dquo. p. however. (ibid.prelinguistic Being&dquo.. .the ’thought of seeing and of feeling’...an order where there are non-language significations&dquo.priority&dquo.. The Cartesian-Husserlian tangent is here presented as the fatal trajectory of thought-at the same time that one sees the defense against this illusory fatality overdetermine Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical decisions: we ought to posit a prelinguistic (since prereflective) Being. (ibid. zation&dquo. Yet. reciprocally. (p. imply some of &dquo. which implies &dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. as Merleau-Ponty says in the same Note. though that in no way entails that from this fact seeing and feeling would become &dquo. except as a limit concept pertaining to reflection or ens rations..before&dquo. for perception. and only that-to be capable of occupying the place of suspension points in the incomplete syntagma: consciousness of When one gauges what speaking means.things&dquo. it is in effect &dquo. that it is only inasmuch as it is reducible to its being-thinkable that anything whatsoever is. of speaking-thinking is nothing other. as soon as a thing is thinkable. it is rather that of the passage from a &dquo. If. 223F/170E). truth not possible to think of a &dquo. one cannot speak of an ’amorphous’ perceptual world&dquo.does not modify . after which there would be a public world. The &dquo. Again. indescribable and yet quite indubitable. under penalty of performing Cartesian hard labour for life.perceived world&dquo.world&dquo. of perception..

but how can one avoid seeing that this wavering expresses the ambiguity of the thought? This ambiguity reaches its fullness in a Note of November 1960 (p.. viz. or rather with an imaginary body without weight. during the same period (20 May 1959).not as a nihilation that counts as observation but as the true Stiftung [institution] of Being of which the observation and the articulated body are special variants&dquo.content&dquo.the dream is inside in the sense that the internal double of the external sensible is inside. entitled &dquo. Merleau-Ponty writes that the imaginary must be understood &dquo. moreover.incomprehensible&dquo. for these formulations would still have to be read starting from the affirmation that precedes them.’ One will agree that it would be difficult to go any further.’I’ranscendence of the Thing and Transcendence of the Phantasm&dquo. (p. of that very same thing [cela meme] that I do not see-not only in the sense that I see within a horizon. Returning to the criterion of the &dquo. and of the one that follows them: &dquo. .imaginary of the body&dquo..there is always a skipping over in every observation&dquo. Here again. but in the sense that I always &dquo.see&dquo. 316F/262-263E). conversely.natural&dquo. SAGE Publications. the body. than I am? And yet. or that the thing is &dquo. What we call the serzsible is only the fact that the indefinite [succession] of Abschabungenprecipitales -but. he says. and the &dquo. that one must &dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29.inexhaustible&dquo. 247F/194E.-and how could one ever assign to this expression a meaning proper to it? What is at issue here is not. of the existentials. that ’theater’ of which Freud speaks.. it is on the side of the sensible wherever the world is not -this is that ’stage’. there is a precipitation or crystallization of the imaginary.But the thing is not really observable: there is always a skipping over in every observation.) posited as absolute. Ltd.cultural&dquo.. more than I see and.. he writes: &dquo.... &dquo. accounting for the &dquo. mean if not that I see by means. Understand the imaginary sphere through the imaginary sphere of the body . Why must one at any price understand the imaginary starting from the &dquo. of the dream by the sense-filled [a teneur sensible] imagery entering into it (which is at once always tautologically possible and always radically absurd). which is a banality.that adds the imaginary to the real-for then there will remain the problem of understanding how all that belongs to the same consciousness&dquo. that place of our oneiric beliefs-and not ’the consciousness’ and its image-making [imageante] folly&dquo. already laid down elsewhere (cf. &dquo. of the symbolic matrices&dquo. reality.the other stage [scène] of the dream&dquo... What does &dquo. without ’observation’. After having noted that &dquo.Dream Imaginary&dquo.understand the dream starting from the body: as being in the world without a body. of course. certainly.Inadequacy of the Bergsonian representation of a soul that conserves everything (this makes it impossible that the perceived-imaginary difference be a difference in nature)&dquo. Merleau-Ponty affirms this shake-up in a Note of May 1959 entitled &dquo. the quotation from p.. All rights reserved. also.sagepub. in every philosophy &dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty.observable&dquo. Nevertheless. emphasis added).29 tion between real and imaginary (or between the &dquo. there is a wavering over the meaning of &dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. for the Downloaded from http://the.imaginary&dquo.. 63F/40E cited earlier). remains &dquo. and the sensible live a hard life. but accounting for the mode of being of the dream. one is never at the thing itself.

Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. What Freud has contributed to thought as new and solid material (and little matter what he himself. as one must really fear. to be counselled lightly. sea shells. It is this. SAGE Publications. it is everything to begin with. This dream.. 34. The dream is as dream.Nothing allows one to distinguish.give themselves&dquo. Now. .. come from nowhere and go nowhere. of the emergence of images that. reality from a representation invested with an affect&dquo. For. might explicitly have thought about it) is neither repression. of the traditional noein-einai can find themselves shaken up and cancelled out. taken as such and such as they &dquo. etc.positivism&dquo. no necessary relation is known..weight&dquo.. or else to define. however. the Oedipean triangle. are compossible.contradictories&dquo.The Unconscious knows nothing of time [which signifies here temporal order] and contradiction&dquo. logic by &dquo.imaginary body&dquo. the imaginary by negation. for us not to stray from the essential. been missed-and it is missed just as much when Freud is accused of &dquo. Here it must be stated that the philosophical import of the Freudian discovery has. presentation in which all determinations. nor sexuality. (pp.: the dream is and it is dream. finally. 323-324F/269-270). and its Downloaded from http://the. nor Thanatos (and still less. pebbles.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. in the psyche. pp. first of all and interminably. including the most elementary. (p. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. derived product of the functioning of the psyche).30 ontological region to which it belongs and that it makes be. and &dquo.reality-making [rialisante] folly&dquo. that is to be thought in Fread-and that.consciousness&dquo. as a few of today’s impostors stupidly repeat). It would be a salutary propaedeutic exercise for those who want to philosophize to try to think starting from the following few working hypotheses: @ to be = representation invested with = an affect. once again. given the constitutional hemianopsia with which those who take up philosophy so often seem 4» mountains. It is.philosophy of the flesh&dquo. = bric-a-brac fabricated social &dquo. make themselves of themselves and abolish themselves (as tbese images) in producing themselves (as those other images). This exercise is not.. is either to use a gratuitous metaphor that risks introducing confusion (in psychoanalysis one speaks of the &dquo. child of the tradition.internal double&dquo. What he has contributed in the first place lies in these two short phrases: &dquo. 285F/231-232E) as when he is presented as having practiced a &dquo. a philosopher’s entire organization forbids him/her from thinking. tables. obviously. nor is it a flip side or mode of the &dquo. and the before-after is devoid of signification. what boils down to the same thing. one more time. @ of being &dquo. however. as the second-order.sagepub. All rights reserved. presentation in which the difference between the image and the one for whom there is image has no &dquo./196E and n. 250F and n.. is not a negation. Ltd. as did Sartre who was justly criticized by Merleau-Ponty on this score. It is on the mode of pure presentation.imaginary body without weight&dquo. It is as presentation for no one-or. to speak of an &dquo. nor interpretation.

inside&dquo. p. Everything happens. to banal diurnal reverie or to any other form of &dquo. Now. For.inside&dquo. in effect.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29..outside&dquo. in the Unconscious. Merleau-Ponty succeeds in seeing what is to be seen: &dquo.inside&dquo. SAGE Publications. Ltd. nor &dquo.. however.In general: Freud’s verbal analyses appear incredible because one realizes them in a Thinker. as ’intemporal’ elimination of the common idea of time as a ’series of Erleb&dquo. the sacred aureola of the phantasm quct urtconscious that would fix here a fallacious hierarchy of being..consciousness&dquo. which is impossible to swallow from a psychoanalytic perspective? Nevertheless. Folly.sensible&dquo. inasmuch as it is precisely an &dquo..that the internal double of the external sensible is inside&dquo. without an &dquo. for example. to take him/herself for what s/he is not. or to treat someone as a pig-that has strictly the same ontological weight as the totality of the visible universe. granted to the phantasm (p.inside&dquo.reality&dquo.representation&dquo.grand register&dquo. . the &dquo.coexistence&dquo. it is to be feared that they would no longer be able to think anything but that. just as until now they have been able to think the be contrary.? If. pulverized. cf. All rights reserved. Everything takes place in non-conventional thought&dquo. Or: &dquo. that we have to think. in the sense (near or far) &dquo. But they must not be realized in this way. would be Absolute Nothingness and would be seen to be refused entry onto the &dquo.. itself.. consequence the misrecognition of &dquo.31 to stricken. the specificity of the dream. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. it abolishes. if we make of the dream something that is &dquo. in its own specificity. all the while being there and being capable of being an object of discourse. as such and for itself without reducing it in advance to something else. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. furthermore. more generally. in its mode of being inseparable from its being-thus.sagepub. which has as its apparently paradoxical. in this domain too. = Downloaded from http://the. a single person just once was able to think of the expression square circle.The Freudian idea of the unconscious and the past as ’indestructible’. without wanting at any price to eliminate. but in truth obvious.transcendence&dquo. as one remains prisoner of a philosophy of consciousness. But in any case. p. would absolutely have to be denied to ’consciousness’ and its image-making folly&dquo. 294F/241E)..outside&dquo. and diurnal noein-einai. as if one had at any price to maintain a privilege for the &dquo. in the flattest sense of the term? Would it be perhaps the mystical value. it is this ontological region. has never prevented anyone from existing. and the &dquo. Would one therefore have finally discovered a nichtiges Nichts in the person of consciousness and its image-making folly? Would one have finally become capable of putting one’s hands on the unique thing that. by crushing its specificity. with &dquo. that we have to recognize in the dream and. 245F/191-192E. it is this specificity that is crushed. the interminable question that it poses for us both in itself as well as through its &dquo.outside&dquo. however. to begin with. precisely. and as if one were hoping thus to contaminate the dream with a little bit of borrowed reality-which. 249F/145-146E) be denied. also. that can be reintroduced here only inasmuch. is that it is neither &dquo. in and through its mode of being. In the name of what would the &dquo. (March 1960.

32 nisse’ in . . of a conscious (or. without interiority . and I am not even the author of that hollow that forms within me by the passage from the present to the retention. p. in effect. Ltd. that the method he calls &dquo. nor does the experience of &dquo.’ If this is the case. barely noticed at all to this day. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. to our knowledge. 233F/179E). or the absence of something is always inscribed.oneirical&dquo. the visible and its invisible no longer have any privilege. As to the &dquo.No absolute difference.ontological difference&dquo. is the denial [nEgationl of &dquo. It is not only that Merleau-Ponty writes explicitly: &dquo. p. initiation&dquo. that is always inscribed in this field. Downloaded from http://the. One of the undoubtedly most important ideas. This denial is all the more remarkable since the attraction of Heidegger is manifest from the beginning to the end of the work. (even though this expression is once or twice affirnied).. and specifies again. This is not an activity of the soul. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. (November 1959. it cannot not think because a field has been opened in which something. pp. or I recognize in &dquo.... (April 1960.activity&dquo.Our waking relations with objects and especially with others have an oneiric character as a matter of principle: others are present to us in the way that dreams are. it is then also only in a quasi-&dquo. And even more: Erlebnisse.. more generally. since It is not a it occurs [se fait] &dquo.indirect&dquo. it is not I who makes myself think any more than it is I who makes my heart beat. assignable) Ego. between philosophy or the transcendental and the empirical (it is better to say: the ontological and the ontic)&dquo.sagepub. evidential experience that I feel myself being regarded by things.in me&dquo. but of what we call representing-a representing that is not an &dquo.touching oneself touching&dquo.. formulated in the Working Notes and. at least in our view. If the thing and the other share-even to a minimum degree-this &dquo. let us follow the oscillation to its other end: &dquo. From there leave the philosophy of Erlebnisse and pass to the philosophy of our Urstiftung [originary institution]. the green of others. the ’monumental’ life. (p. 296F/243E). Stiftua2g [institution]. the way myths are.something&dquo. and this is enough to question the cleavage between the real and the imaginary&dquo. which is. 319F/266E). All rights reserved. 1l~y ‘indirect’ method (being in the beings [I’Otre dans les Etants]) alone conforms with9 being [l’être] -’negative philosophy’ like ’negative theology’ (February 1959. nor a production in thoughts in the plural. &dquo. It is.my green&dquo. SAGE Publications. -Restore this life without reality.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29..One cannot make a direct ontology. obviously. have an archetypical value. 274- 275F/221E) question here. of reflective thinking. therefore. and that nevertheless is quite singularizable. Merleau-Ponty wrote in one of the T’hea~ces fa~on~t the Lectures.oneirical&dquo. The soul always thinks: this is in it a property of its state. in November 1960: &dquo. character.

it is this term that continues to be ceeds from the in one annex Downloaded from http://the. (p. or &dquo. perception in 7be Visible and the Invisible is no longer perception in its everyday sense. in the comprehension of the Unconscious). (and also. to reduce every new object to the type of being and to the determinations that are already available elsewhere. of which the others would be carbon copies. when a given tongue is examined. SAGE Publications. moreover.. Certainly. Nevertheless. The practice. derived sense-to be precise: &dquo. echoes.positive&dquo. or &dquo.an absolute&dquo..reversibility&dquo. is not on the horizon. for example. Ltd. If. one must succeed &dquo. the meaning of the term has been extended immensely. into the primary region. less unilaterally. whether performed consciously or not. In spite of the theme of &dquo. only a second-order. To paraphrase Cineas. this idea. to which it might be opposed-the aiming at being in the beings.33 or &dquo. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. this is truly the case. or what you will? Such hierarchies can have. derivatives. that nourishes and renews his reflection on being [etre].sagepub. he writes. one cannot advance henceforth in the comprehension of perception except inasmuch as one advances in the &dquo. however.-in fact.on- tic&dquo. however obvious. the meaning of: to be. precisely. Each time-and throughout his thinking life-it is the approach of a &dquo. in his previous writings) constantly practiced. 242F/188E). quite obviously. the frequentation of other types of being [6tantl acquires its philosophical signification only to the extent that. in unveiling to us hitherto unsuspected types of being [Otrel. local variations in accent-as secondary in relation to the tongue itself. seek therein an archetype or prototype or simply the type of being [[tant] par excellence.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty..empirical&dquo. ultimately. it leads us to think otherwise. it has been extended so much so that one is obliged to ask oneself why. of philosophy. against one dimension of his practice and of this theory.ontologically&dquo.. It loses it-and is transformed into a generally fallacious scholastic exercise-if it pro- ready-made decision.particular&dquo. for there exists no &dquo. and of the history of philosophy a perception of history&dquo. Perhaps it makes some sense. Still more. this is what Merleau-Ponty ultimately practices and enunciates on the theoretical level: in order to see that there is &dquo.region&dquo. assuredly. it is not worth one’s while to explore history if one does so in order to rediscover there perception such as we are already able to have it. nor even that found in the Phenomenology of Perception.one will not clear up [r6soudral the philosophy of history except by working out [résolvant] the problem of perception&dquo. &dquo.in making of philosophy a perception. But. how could one ever erect one ontological &dquo.philosophy of history&dquo. . 249F/196E). to way or another (&dquo. type of being [etre]. there is none to saying that a tongue is less than is a galaxy-or that language is less than phusis. to consider such and such a phenomenon-say. is here (as. in the sole usage of these terms that is admissible. the idea that.region&dquo. All rights reserved. such as it manifests itself in this or that &dquo.ontically&dquo. (p.) every new region to the region that has already been explored. it cannot be called negative. the familiarity gained or sought after with another being [étant].negative&dquo.

cause&dquo. or &dquo. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. is once again repeated here. we Downloaded from http://the. an other irreducible caught to up in philosophical language. of particular beings [étants]. regarding a different object.familiar&dquo. (p. too.comprehension&dquo.. but also. or Merleau-Ponty’s Being). Ltd. If you want to know what being truly means. a transgression that is always impossible and always. perception of the meaning of the theorem that &dquo. that is.. this is perception in a sense that is already given elsewhere.ontological difference&dquo.. an irreducible other (one or several) of perception. then perceiving no longer signifies only vernebmen (which yields Vernuft).class&dquo. when one wants to make a &dquo. Let us summarize its signification: the transgression of the genuine &dquo.. it seems. &dquo. the meaning of: to be no longer being maintained open and maintained as the very opening of meaning. When there is perception &dquo. as being more [plus Ctantl [mallon on] than every other and therefore as the being litanl] par excellence-ens realissimum-and therefore as the sole genuinely or beingly being [ilantement 6tantl (ontos on) and therefore as ontological type or model and therefore as sole possible explication and explicit expression [explicitation] of the meaning of: to be. or. the abstract universal falls back. of the theory of perception. A &dquo. God.. and I cannot prevent the identity perception=being from being read also being=perception. already known. . Either perception to perception. think of-or look at-what truly is: the agathon.sagepub.grand register&dquo. the eminent being [itant] becoming ens entium.: relating body oneself to anything whatsoever. and &dquo.theory&dquo. a given mode of being [etrel is posited. if one prefers: giving oneself anything whatsoever. what is weightier. All rights reserved. equality means: to be. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. matter. Immediately. or else there is.. more &dquo. One cannot extend to infinity the meaning of a term without anything coming to limit it through genuine alterity.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. there is ontic resorption. if one may say so.. and no doubt forever. &dquo.origin&dquo. ontological resorption. implicitly or explicitly. perceiving signifies &dquo.source&dquo.of philosophy&dquo. it acquires a particular meaning.of other philosophers&dquo.model&dquo. to you and to me-in short. for the place of such a term that immediately resorbs every limit. originarily and on the same ontological level. &dquo. Reason. From then on. is a be. feeling that something is there. of &dquo. in a sense that has to do with what everyone understands by perception. SAGE Publications. onto its feet. 242F/188E) that is only a reprise. It is precisely: redundant (and misleadingl° ) synonym for the relationship to being. Spinoza’s substance.34 employed. or the archaic noein (which yields nous). is already of universal nite is commutative&dquo.. but fixed as meaning (be it infinite) of this being [8tant] and starting from it. That such an extension could not remain without consequences is what have tried at length to show. being necessarily unique. perception history. Then I could in effect speak of perception of the dream.simply&dquo. however. unless it is an empty tautology. and. &dquo. inevitable.every fiThen. of all that does not share its intense and primary reality (or else Inbegriff and &dquo.substrate&dquo. flesh.

however. and of the idealism of &dquo.35 This extension.incarnated&dquo. for a form of speech that pronounces itself. however. Rather. the unnameable primordial figure that gives shape [figures]. Ltd. All rights reserved. his/her imaginary. Let us limit ourselves to noting a few evident facts: constant in Merleau-Ponty is the equal exclusion of the object &dquo. ontological decisions-what might be called the Urpbantasie of the philosopher qua philosopher. however. that organizes. Such a reconstruction is not our purpose here.visible&dquo. among the &dquo.ultimate&dquo.-equivalent to a restriction of the meaning of being-except by considering what it overestimates [??M/ore] and what it underestimates [minor] in the field that was that of the author.perception&dquo.automatic logos&dquo. mute. even if Merleau-Ponty had not named the flesh. What is decisive in this regard is not so much what unfolds on the explicit level of discourse. for a given that I do not give myself by act of will but that gives itself if I advance &dquo. Now. animates what will be coined into privileged types of logical operations and into &dquo. like the other. the flesh subsists. animals. and shadows. includes in and excludes from that which is taken into consideration. which entails his refusal to think of determinacy in its classical modes. cannot be intended except through its far-off consequences in a hypothetical reconstruction. Qua Life. undertaken at his/her own risks and perils. it accepts being annihilated in its matter so as to triumph in the conservation of its eidos. as well as of every active constitution in the transparency of a reflective Cogito.differences&dquo. of the ontologically certain and assured. Life. volumes. in short: of the determinate in its richest and most moving form. allots in the field values. what is or is not thematized (though that remains neither indifferent nor external). We cannot attempt to comprehend the signification of the extension of the meaning of &dquo.-and that. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. . it is above all the imaginary schema underlying the thought. undoubtedly could not be without philosophical motives. and plants share with Being the qualification of &dquo. for a before of speech that would already be speech. in the thing. Life wearies not of repeating its interminable circle from birth to the same birth in passing by way of the same death. signification.objects&dquo.wild&dquo.. agitation [inqui6tudel while remaining. of eveiy &dquo. which forms and informs his/her &dquo.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. Beyond metaphors.. SAGE Publications. just as constant. It always already has given itself its form. within the boundaries of the identical. life is the extreme limit that can be attained by movement.sagepub. lights. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. it is the subsistent par excellence. is the search for an &dquo. and gives itself only in and through its &dquo. all that would already have put us on the path of Life. only people..1 Downloaded from http://the.perceiving&dquo. and as long as they remain.in itself&dquo. of the already given. of what is and decides his/her &dquo. difference...essence&dquo. for a mixture of activity and passivity. In no way do we want to diminish the originality of this idea. Anthr6pos anthrôpôn genna. that offered themselves to him and whose philosophical importance he had succeeded in sorting out.gently&dquo. The flesh procreates of the flesh: it does not create.

Downloaded from http://the. January 1978 Translation by David Ames Curtis from the typescript of "Merleau-Ponty et le poids de l’h&eacute. pp. John O’Neill (Evanston.36 is not rebirth an We. Fink Verlag. 10. 1970). Ltd. This text was previously translated into German as "Merleau-Ponty und die Last des ontologischen Erbest" and published in Alexandre M&eacute. 1973).sagepub. Notes 1. 186-201. 42-43.couverte de l’imagination".traux and Bernhard Waldenfels (eds). trans. 327-331. 51. suivi de notes de travail. trans. 1987). 111-143. 69. p. Page references are to Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Le Visible et l’invisible. 1986)." strikes me as a stretching of English that adds nothing to the meaning of the translation. slightly altered. pp. Domaines de l’homme (Paris. 2007 © 1993 Thesis Eleven Pty. have to think creation. Kathleen Blamey (Cambridge. 1986). 48. SAGE Publications. Northwestern University Press. John O’Neill (Evanston. . a time that is not cyclical. This is an allusion to an African healing ritual. 8. Gallimard. ed. 201 and note 47. 4. Polity. 9. translated by Alphonso Lingis as The Visible and the Invisible. I have deliberately left aside here the question of "evolution". We have to think of ontological genesis-an ontology genesis. with French pagination (F) preceding the English (E). 1964). Translator: It is Castoriadis who adds the word "institution" in brackets here.ge de France 1952-1960. and "institution" and "original institution" in latter quotations of Merleau-Ponty below that use the word "Stiftung". pp. ed. Northwestern University Press. Claude Lefort (Paris.com by Luciano Garcia on September 29. 1968). The Prose of the World. followed by Working Notes (Evanston. unthinkable under the heading of "the flesh". 11. his "is alone conformed with" for "est seule conforme &agrave. however. pp. ibis. ment" 5. followed by an explanation in French that translates as "fatally inducing one into error". For example. Themes from the Lectures at the Coll&egrave. a birth that [une naissance qui ne soit pas re-naissancel. 3. Die leibhaftige VernunftSpuren von Merleau-Pontys Denken (Munich. Translator: Castoriadis uses the English word "misleading" in italics. See The Imaginary Institution of Society (1975). in any case. Translator: Lingis’s translation. Claude Lefort and trans. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.. Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.ritage ontologique". 7. p. these references appear in the text in parentheses. introductory remarks have been excerpted from the "Avertissepreceding "La D&eacute. Translator: These 2. It is. 6.. Seuil.

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