top of page

Merleau-Ponty's Last Vision (book review) Douglas Low

A Proposal for the Completion of "The Visible and the Invisible"


121119: third review. i might take up reading this once/year until i understand it better, each time finding new terms, new concepts, but then this is philosophy on philosophy. this time i noticed more ‘reversibility’ and ‘fold’, as in present folds past folds present, and think more on insistence this is not Cartesian, rationalist, empiricism, modernist nor deconstruction, that words are not preceded by thought, nor are words constantly referring to other words. words, gestures, are expressing through our bodies, our ‘chiasm’, where the sense of our world is not just nature, not just consciousness, not just words... but all of these combined together... all anchored in our human being, our bodies, and history is sedimented and not Hegelian.


250218: second review. again great. learn something new, understand certain assertions better. by now read a lot somehow still on or by m-p (71) arguments proliferate, one example is against bergson's asserts that perception is 'coincidence', collapsing difference, rather than 'slippage', which promotes ambiguity, closeness, 'intertwining' Being and 'world', overcoming separation dualities that haunt 'western' philosophy, mind and body etc... i think the oneness bergson argues toward is finally identity of self and world as properly mystical and not philosophical... there is as always much about perception preceding Being, much about originary 'style' in brute being, much about limitations of certain analytic thoughts such as 'objectivity' in the 'view from nowhere', there is dispute about atomistic 'quale', of 'realism' and 'rationalism' both incomplete because they ignore the 'body' of 'embodied' being that is 'invisible' and is armature of any existential phenomenology, this is all fascinating. and of course any book that inspires reading another book(s) is definitely a five...


first review 130215: i enjoyed this greatly- though yes of course this is elaboration of unfinished work so who knows how accurate. what i enjoyed most was reading how another philosopher tries to continue m-p's thought. i had thought i understood merleau-ponty's visin but this clarifies at least how it can be seen as somewhere between phenomenology and deconstruction. words are not just words but refer to something final, something of the style of being, not endless 'deferrance'...


there are a few summations of what exactly is 'the visible' as sensed, as named, 'the flesh' as sensing object/self, 'the chiasm' which unifies self and world as it separates, and 'nature' as more than resource of real (marx), and the 'invisible' as 'meaning' and 'logos' as 'expression'... i do not know how useful his suggestions are, but low's interpretation of m-p's last completed chapter 'the chiasm' is great...


the work from 'themes of lectures at the college de france' are more speculative, but the fact m-p had republished these without changes does suggest they would have fit in this work... short work, fascinating, and though i found it easy, engaging, stimulating, i realize now that is maybe because i have read a lot on (44?) or by m-p (13) plus some more that involve him (14)... so take the rating carefully…

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

An Introduction to Henri Bergson 220701: (this is eleven years later reread) recent read (220625)[book:Bergson’s Philosophy of Self-Overcoming: Thinking without Negativity or Time as Striving|52736601

if you like this review, i now have website: www.michaelkamakana.com 220611: this is probably the most academically accurate of the translations I have read of this book, but still prefer commentary o

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page