Authors
Jon Roffe
Deakin University
Jack Alan Reynolds
Deakin University
Abstract
Jean-Paul Sartre's moving eulogy for Merleau-Ponty on his death was entitled "Merleau-Ponty vivant" – Merleau-Ponty lives. And it is indeed difficult to deny that Merleau-Ponty’s thought remains a live and enduring part of the contemporary philosophical scene, in a manner that could not be said for his more famous contemporary. Despite the enduring significance of Merleau-Ponty and the voluminous writings about his work, the book that was intended to be his magnum opus, The Visible and the Invisible, remains an unfinished project and one that has not had the sustained attention it merits. This may seem like a strange claim, given that many of its key concepts (chiasm, flesh, reversibility, etc.) have often been addressed. Nonetheless, there is a sense in which the strengths and weaknesses of this incipient ontology are not themselves particularly well-known or discussed, especially in English. In this chapter we examine this "indirect ontology," before considering some of the criticisms made by his contemporaries and 'successors': Lacan; Irigaray; Levinas; Derrida; Deleuze.
Keywords Merleau-Ponty  phenomenology  French philosophy
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