On Rajiv Kaushik’s Art, Language and Figure in Merleau-Ponty: Excursions in Hyper-Dialectic

Chiasmi International 16:343-350 (2014)
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Abstract

Rajiv Kaushik’s Art, Language and Figure in Merleau-Ponty continues the work begun last year in Art and Institution by exploring the ontological grounds upon whichMerleau-Ponty locates the continuity of philosophy with the visual arts. The mission and the privilege of art are to allow the invisible to appear in its own terms. As such, artpossesses the potential of completing the endeavors of philosophy by bringing the world to expression without abusively bringing it to visibility. Kaushik’s analyses of Merleau-Ponty’s concept of “figural philosophy,” of the relevance of Merleau-Ponty’s reading of Saussure for his philosophy of art, and of the dynamic and ontological potential contained in the tracing of a line are profound and each makes decisive contributions to the study of Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetics. In addition to these, Kaushik’s analysis of artworks and artists such as Cy Twombly allow him to make this more than a book about Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy or a book about art; it is a book that enacts their continuity as it describes it, in true hyper-dialectical fashion.

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Frank Chouraqui
Leiden University

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