Human Studies 44 (4):529-557 (2021)

In this paper, I argue that Merleau-Ponty’s seminal book, Phenomenology of Perception, stands as a positive resource for articulating both trans experiences and trans identities within both a wrong-body model and a multiple worlds of sense model of trans philosophy. I begin my paper by highlighting the complex relation between Talia Bettcher’s proposed multiple worlds of sense model and the wrong-body model. As the dismissal of either model appears undesirable, I suggest that we attempt to combine the two models. To do this, I turn to Georgia Warnke’s contextual understanding of identity as I ultimately juxtapose her work with Merleau-Ponty in order to give a positive account of trans identities that will function as a bridge between Merleau-Ponty and Bettcher. I then turn to discuss the basic ideas within Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception that are used to ground Rubin’s wrong-body model. As I contend that Merleau-Ponty has more to offer what Rubin attributes to him, I then turn to key passages concerning Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of the sexual schema and the intrinsic ambiguity of the body. By incorporating both concepts into a discussion of trans philosophy, I argue that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology offers a non-essentialist account of sexuality that both phenomenologically legitimates and grounds the wide spectrum of trans experiences and trans identities as well as Warnke’s contextual identity through, what I call, our ambiguous-being-in-the-world. Such an account, I conclude, makes possible a combined wrong-body model and multiple worlds of sense model of trans philosophy.
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DOI 10.1007/s10746-021-09590-7
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Limited Inc.Jacques Derrida - 1988 - Northwestern University Press.
Phénoménologie de la Perception.M. Merleau-Ponty - 1949 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 5 (4):466-466.

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