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181. Chiasmi International: Volume > 24
Gianluca De Fazio Abitare il deserto. La geologia trascendentale di Merleau-Ponty alla prova dell’Antropocene
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Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s hypothesis about transcendental geology in the final phase of his work, this article examines the debate about the Anthropocene from the perspective of philosophy of history. Firstly, we follow the author through the preliminary materials for The Visible and The Invisible by situating transcendental geology within the book’s complex theoretical architecture, and by foregrounding the necessity of rethinking the notion of Earth through the reading that the French philosopher offers of Husserl’s phenomenology. We will thus focus on the theme of the overturning of the Copernican doctrine in an ethico-practical perspective, showing that Merleau-Ponty’s ecology can be considered a philosophical ecology ante litteram. Finally, drawing on the hypothesis proposed by historians Bonneuil and Fressoz, the essay will attempt to highlight the relevance of Merleau-Ponty’s practical thought for the debate about the Anthropocene.
182. Chiasmi International: Volume > 24
Giovanni Fava Verso una geologia trascendentale. Per una rilettura merleaupontyana delle Four Theses di Dipesh Chakrabarty
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The goal of this article is to introduce a Merleau-Pontyan reading of the Four Theses of Dipesh Chakrabarty. In the first part of this article, we identify the theoretical problems that undergird Chakrabarty’s claims by connecting them to an attempt to rethink the concept of history in a non-historicist manner in light of the questions raised by the Anthropocene and by anthropogenic climate change. Our hypothesis, which we explore in the second part of the article, is that the idea of history developed by Merleau-Ponty, which finds in the concepts of “institution” and “transcendental geology” its fundamental theoretical articulations, can provide the framework for a rereading of the Four Theses. In the last section, we attempt to provide an interpretation of Chakrabarty’s proposition by reading the problem of the relationship between geological history, life history, and human history as a relationship of institution. In conclusion, we indicate some potential developments for this proposition that move in the direction of a narrower intersection between philosophy and earth system science.
183. Chiasmi International: Volume > 24
Paolo Missiroli L’arca terra si muove. Merleau-Ponty e il dibattito sull’Antropocene
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In this article, I examine the debate about the Anthropocene through the lens of two images that animate this debate like presuppositions: that of the Globe and that of the Earth. After analyzing the characteristics of the former, I attempt to define the status of the concept of Earth in Merleau-Ponty’s works in relation to the concepts of Nature, life, and background. In a final section, I attempt to valorize the main theoretical objectives achieved by reading Merleau-Ponty in the direction of a new reflection on the notion of the Anthropocene, beyond the Promethean discourse on the Anthropocene (which originates in a vision of the planet as a Globe). For this, we will read together some recent works by Dipesh Chakrabarty and Jeremy Devies that focus precisely on the attempt to rethink the Anthropocene beyond the image of the Globe.
184. Chiasmi International: Volume > 24
Corinne Lajoie, Ted Toadvine Introduzione. La fenomelonogia critica a partire da Merleau-Ponty. Parte II
185. Chiasmi International: Volume > 24
Elena De Silvestri Il luogo del sogno e l’allucinazione negativa. Merleau-Ponty e Freud
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In his notes for the course entitled “The Problem of Passivity: Sleep, the Unconscious, Memory,” Merleau-Ponty describe the notion of “negative hallucination” as “a perception, but not recognized for what it is.” This essay analyses this figure as it is taken up by Merleau-Ponty in direct dialogue with Freud’s work. To begin, through the double category of the “negative” and the “perceived,” Merleau-Ponty broaches the question of the “place” of dreams by adopting an eccentric position that sheds light on an unexplored pathway of Freudian theory. Moreover, a crucial point can be found in the idea of a negative margin, that appears to implicitly configure a redefinition of the hallucinatory in the direction of chiasm. To highlight this aspect, I review in a preliminary manner some passages of Phenomenology of Perception in which the question of the “place” of negative hallucination emerges in particularly dramatic terms.
186. Chiasmi International: Volume > 24
Pietro Pasquinucci L’espressione dell’incommensurabile. Una lettura dell’ontologia di Merleau-Ponty alla luce del problema dell’incommensurabilità
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This essay aims to shed new light on Merleau-Ponty’s later ontology through the analysis of the problem of incommensurable, by taking into consideration Gaetano Chiurazzi’s work, Dynamis. Ontologia dell’incommensurabile. Merleau-Ponty’s concept of expression is assumed as the reading key of this comparison: it allows to connect the theme of incommensurability (considered in the first part) both to the problem of history and of intersubjective relationship (analyzed in the second part), and to the fundamental problem of perception (third part). In particular, the analysis of the concept of expression will stress the ontological value of the phenomenological description of perception, pointing out a particular affinity between the ontology of incommensurable and the phenomenological approach. Therefore, the discovery of incommensurability and the phenomenological method will be interpreted as two different starting points for one and the same path, which leads to a non-substantialist and relational conception of Being. Rather than providing a new interpretation of this definition of Being, this comparison aims to make it clearer and better understandable, by underlining some of its essential aspects. In particular, I will consider the possibility to interpret consciousness and the subject as expressive events, analyzing the philosophical consequences of this definition.
187. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Federico Leoni Orcid-ID Presentazione
188. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Michel Dalissier Introduzione
189. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Gael Caignard Problemi di ieri e di oggi: da Gide a Sartre
190. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Federico Leoni Orcid-ID Introduzione. L’altro specchio di Merleau-Ponty
191. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Gianluca De Fazio Come due specchi prospicienti: Un’ipotesi monadologica nell’ultimo Merleau-Ponty
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Beginning with the relation between the question of Nature and the status of philosophy, this essay interprets the theme of the mirror through the chiasm between multiplicity and thought. This relation is not substantial dualism’s relation of the subject with the object, but rather, following the image used by Merleau-Ponty, it is like the relation between two mirrors facing each other, thus suggesting that the “subject” herself is a multiplicity. From thence, drawing inspiration from this quote in Eye and Mind, “the Cartesian does not see himself in the mirror”, I formulate both the problem of the body and the question of intersubjectivity as a field of individuation for all possible forms of subjectivity. Following this theme, the essay retraces the use of the mirror in the Note on Machiavelli. Finally, given that the theme of subjectivity as a multiplicity is related to the theme of corporeality (granting the principle of reversibility characteristic of a Merleau-Pontian ontology), the essay ends with an analysis of the idea of the body-mirror (and not simply the “body in the mirror”) which, from an intersubjective point of view, becomes an expressive relation in which each body is mirror and expression of the whole universe, thus unlocking an existential monadology.
192. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Prisca Amoroso La riflessione impossibile e il rispecchiamento nel mondo. Dall’esperienza infantile alla surréflexion
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This essay builds on two questions: the relation of the child with the other and the child’s way of knowing, in which the resistance of the unreflected is not yet problematized. Through a reconstruction of Merleau-Ponty’s critique of Piaget’s idea of the child’s linear intellectual progression toward reflexive abstraction, I highlight the moment of unreflection by taking up the notion of ultra-thing, which Merleau-Ponty borrows from Henry Wallon. These ultra-things are entities with which the child entertains a vague relation and which always remain at the horizon of her perception without yet being possessed in a representation or grasped in a concept. They include, for example, the sun, the sky, the Earth, the body as an object, existence before the birth of the child – uninhabitable dimensions or, to the contrary, ones that are necessarily inhabited. The concept of ultra-thing has not been sufficiently explored in Merleau-Pontian studies and its importance remains underappreciated. This essay thus formulates a hypothesis about the relation between ultra-things and hyper-reflection.
193. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Matteo Bonazzi “L’uomo è specchio per l’uomo”. Merleau-Ponty, Lacan e la nascita prolungata
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This essay investigates the question of the birth of the subject through Lacan’s and Merleau-Ponty’s reflections on the function of the mirror, specularity, and the speculative. The first section draws on the “duplication” of self-consciousness described by Hegel in the first pages of Phenomenology of Spirit. The question of the double and the mirror is then examined through the three main versions of Lacan’s mirror stage, interpreted in light of Merleau-Ponty’s own reflections. Finally, I draw on passages from The Prose of the World and Eye and Mind to illustrate an original convergence with questions raised by Lacan’s late teachings.
194. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Federico Leoni Orcid-ID La telepatia e la macchia. Mirror neurons e monadologie merleau-pontyane
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A meditation on specularity as paradigms of a theory of experience which informs every field of philosophy and human sciences, including contemporary neurosciences. And a meditation, starting from neurosciences and mirror neurons, on the different readings of this paradigm of specularity and specularization. In particular, on that “second” reading of specularization, which suggests that the mirror is not an instrument of representation but of expression, not a device of adaquation but of creation. It is an hypothesis that Merleau-Ponty, facing the very same problems contemporary neurosciences are confonted to, reactivates in an increasingly systematic way in his later years, drawing from a tradition which we try here to reconstruct. From Merleau-Ponty to Bergson, from Bergson to Leibniz, this second reading of specularity contains a possibility which is still fruitful and which neurosciences themselves could adopt in order to reconsider in a new perspective the evidences they have considered until now from the point of view of a first reading of specularity. This second reading of specularity suggests that it is not so much necessary to explain how one subject comprehends the other, but how both subjects are comprehended within the transcendental space of what we could call an event. Empathy is not so much a syntonization among subjects, but subjects are a partial and local desyntonization of that empathic system we should place as the beginining and not at the end of the process. Consciousness does not represent the other consciousness, but they express in a simultaneous and specular diffraction the fundamental unity of an event which is every time unique and impersonal.
195. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Bernard Andrieu, Anna Caterina Dalmasso Introduzione. Pensare la tecnicità con Merleau-Ponty
196. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Edoardo Fugali Merleau-Ponty e Cézanne: visione e pittura come tecnologie incarnate
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The aim of this article is to demonstrate the intrinsically technical nature of visual perception and pictorial performance through their common anchorage in the corporeity that brings them into existence. As with any other artistic technique, painting reveals itself to be the natural extension of a technological attitude already rooted in the sensorimotor devices of the body in action; painting is led to inhabit a world that is of the same nature as corporeal agents, because the objects that populate it share with it the ontological element of the “flesh”. Through Merleau-Ponty’s analyses of Cezanne’s pictorial works, I demonstrate that the main purpose of painting is, analogically with the descriptive analyses made possible by the phenomenological reduction, to render intersubjectively evident the hidden work of vision before its sedimentation in an accomplished perceptual scene. As the experiments of contemporary neuroscience also demonstrate, perception is by and large a reconstructive process of “image-making” rather than an allegedly accurate reproduction of the spectacle of the world. Painting, on the other hand, both in terms of creation and for the observer, employs the same sensorimotor resources as instruments.
197. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Andrea Zoppis L’essere grezzo della tecnica
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Through a reading of Merleau-Ponty’s late courses on Nature, this essay presents a new reflection on technique and makes explicit the ontological significance of a rethinking of technique in this period. After an analysis of the historical sense of the notion of Nature and of animal behavior, we turn to cybernetics. The need to rethink man on the basis of his contingency, that is, on the basis of his relationship with the world and with the technical objects through which this relationship is structured, arises in the essay. Merleau-Ponty’s course on Nature has thus allowed us to investigate the ontological significance of the notion of technique by considering technical objects that Merleau-Ponty himself references. Technique, by prolonging Nature, becomes the keystone to the contact between man and Being, thus illustrating the necessity, for philosophy and for culture, of a return to the contact with brute being that founds and inhabits it.
198. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Saverio Macrì “Frange” del concetto di informazione: natura e tecnica in Merleau-Ponty e in Simondon
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This paper investigates how Merleau-Ponty and Simondon conceived the theory of information and, in particular, assessed its validity as an instrument of analysis in multiple fields of knowledge. Specifically, the comparison will analyze the relationship between organism and environment, which is central both to Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of nature and to Simondon’s theory of individuation. For both authors, the analysis of processes of interaction between organism and environment is characterized by the search for a type of causality that distinguishes itself from mechanism, which reduces these interactions to a sum of independent parts occasionally tied by a causally determined relation. However, while Merleau-Ponty views the categories introduced by the theory of information as a mere reconstruction of the mechanistic perspective, Simondon revises these categories to overcome mechanism and move towards the construction of a model of experience based on relation.
199. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Samuele Sartori L’epistemologia dell’incorporazione attraverso la storia materiale degli arti artificiali
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The aim of this article is to enrich the concept of technological incorporation, as thematized by Merleau-Pontian phenomenology and post-phenomenology, through a study of the material history of artificial prostheses. We will see in the first section that post-phenomenology, by discussing the plasticity of the corporeal schema, did not recognize the importance of technological transformations; that is, it has given little importance to the inorganic, material correlate through which hybridization is possible. Secondly, we will show how Merleau-Ponty, through a reading of Marx, contributes to phenomenology a naturalistic dialectic between material history and corporeity. This relation appears central to our understanding of the constitutively plastic and performative essence of the corporeal schema. The dialectics that technologies institute, however, do not necessarily lead to an increase in one’s perceptive-agentive capacities. The last section of this article investigates this claim through an analysis of the pathology of phantom limbs, in light of the evolution of prosthetic technologies between the two World Wars.
200. Chiasmi International: Volume > 22
Tommaso Tuppini La sensazione e il vortice del sonno
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We typically conceive of sensation as a residue of empiricism and idealism, both of which claim to reduce our experience to a sum of elementary data that the subject encounters. For Merleau-Ponty, sensation is none of these things: it defines our ability to let ourselves be solicited by the relief and questions of the world. What is sensed is not an inert datum but a gesture of existence that concerns me, invites me to correspond to it and follow it. When I respond to the invitations of what I sense, the connection between me and the world functions as the immobile axis around which the whirls of a whirlwind are formed. Whirlwind of sensation or whirlwind of sleep, because sensing is also made of a night time-space in which the connection with things seem to be broken. The inertia of sleep is whirling in its own way, just as the dynamism of sensation has its own condition of possibility in an immeasurable measure of apathy and indifference.