Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Michel Haar on Merleau-Ponty's distance from Heidegger.
Heidegger's reversal of the primacy of the subject to the radical priority of being as language, world, time, History ... is not possible for Merleau-Ponty for fear of his stating the absolute primacy of a natural in-itself, a naturalism which would contradict all phenomenological exigencies. The sensible itself would be "universal" only if we possessed "intellectual intuition", which would put us beyond the limits of our finitude. We have no way of knowing if the in-itself is or is not sensible, if the essence of the flesh, "the dehiscence of the seeing in the visible and the visible in the seeing", is or is not limited to our corporeity. We have no means of knowing if this "dehiscence", as perpetual, internal difference or non-absorption between the sensing and the sensed, is or is not universalisable, if there is or is not a "natural generality of my body and of the world." The Heideggerian model of the dispossession of man is not applicable to the philosophy of flesh, because the latter - which, not without analogy to being, oscillates between the thickness of the "element" and the differential finesse of "the dehiscence" - would not, like being, initiate anything, produce a "destinal sending", for which it is necessarily incapable due to its non-historiality. Man can respond to being-thrown, because the latter is historial, but how can he respond to the ageless flesh which encompasses him?
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