Merleau‐Ponty, Metaphysical Realism and the Natural World1

Abstract

Environmental thinkers often suppose that the natural world (or some parts of it, at least) exists in its own right, independent of human concerns. The arguments developed in this paper suggest that it is possible to do justice to this thought without endorsing some form of metaphysical realism. Thus the early sections look to Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception to develop an anti-realist account of the independent reality of the natural world, one, it is argued, that has certain advantages over the accounts proffered by 'environmental realists'. The concluding sections draw upon certain of Merleau-Ponty's later works to defend a rather bolder claim: that the conceptions of realism endorsed by environmental thinkers are not just ill equipped but, in fact, unable to acknowledge what may be provisionally referred to as the more-than-human dimension of reality.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,766

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
81 (#146,671)

6 months
1 (#386,989)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Simon Paul James
Durham University

References found in this work

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
Poetry, Language, Thought.Martin Heidegger - 1971 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 31 (1):117-123.
Sense and Non-Sense.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1964 - Northwestern University Press.

View all 45 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Estrangement, Nature and 'the Flesh'.Simon Hailwood - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):71-85.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles