• Faces and the Invisible of the Visible: Toward an Animal Ontology
    Phaenex: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture 2 (2). 2007.
    This paper studies the role of faces in animal life to gain insight into Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, especially his later ontology. The relation between animal faces and moving, animal bodies involves a peculiar, expressive logic. This logic echoes the physiognomic structure of perception that Merleau-Ponty detects in his earlier philosophy, and exemplifies and clarifies a logic elemental to his later ontology, especially to his concept of an invisible that is of the visible. The question why th…Read more
  •  1
    The Clough Collection of Prints at the Whitworth Institute
    Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 92 (2): 167-185. 2016.
    George Clough‘s donation of old master prints raised the Whitworth Institute‘s collection to international standing. Simultaneously, it presented Manchester with a viewing experience that was possibly unique in Britain, and placed on permanent display one of the nations finest collections of engravings, etchings and woodcuts so as to offer a visual history of the medium of print. Clough had a special interest in Marcantonio Raimondi, collecting over forty prints by him at a time when such works …Read more
  • Introduction
    Symposium 21 (1): 203-205. 2017.
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    Merleau-Ponty and Mexica Ontology
    Chiasmi International 21 289-303. 2019.
    Movement is crucial to Merleau-Ponty’s effort to comprehend sense, meaning as generated within being. This requires a new concept of movement, not as a dislocation within an already determinate space- or time- frame, but as a deeper, more fundamental change that first engenders space and time as determinate contexts in which movement can follow a sensible course. This poses a novel challenge: conceptualizing determinate space and time as contingently arising from a deeper sort of change, which I…Read more
  •  19
    Scholars such as Renaud Barbara and Bernhard Waldenfels and Regula Giuliani have emphasized time’s central role in Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, and Michael Kelly has shown how the Phenomenology’s “Temporality” chapter already broaches his later ontological concerns. I deepen our understanding of this temporal–ontological nexus by showing how Merleau-Ponty’s temporal ontology in fact erupts even earlier in the Phenomenology, as an underlying theme that unifies part two, on “The Perceived World,” a…Read more
  • In this chapter I suggest how Casey’s work opens some radical implications for phenomenology. Casey does this by showing that place is what first of all grants room for the appearance of things—but only in virtue of a non givenness. That is, place undergirds determinate things only in being something “less” than fully delimited or determinate, something less than space would be as an already given dimension. Place thus echoes Bergson’s durée as openly generative becoming, in contrast to time as …Read more
  • This chapter challenges the view that perceptual illusions are mistakes, by first of all emphasizing how the concept of illusions-as-mistakes relies on perspectives unavailable within illusory experiences and introduces norms fixed outside such experiences. A study of ‘rubber hand illusions’ suggests how illusions are not mistaken perceptions, but cases in which perceived objects makes a different kind of sense—in virtue of a norm that is not a fixed, objective standard but is ongoingly engender…Read more
  •  1
    The chapter’s central question is how place and memory connect so intimately and how the architecture of buildings and rooms can play such a powerful role in memory. I develop an initial answer in two steps. First, I explicate Merleau-Ponty’s argument in the passivity lectures (IP ) that, contra classical concepts of memory as purely passive recording or purely active construction, memory entails a peculiar passivity that is not, however, wholly passive. Merleau-Ponty’s argument entails some dee…Read more
  • The distinction between activity and passivity has a deep and fundamental role in scientific and philosophical conceptual frameworks, going back to ancient Greek thinking about society and nature. I briefly indicate the importance of the activity-passivity distinction in the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty, in relation to Husserl. I then advance a transcendental phenomenological argument that the distinction is, however, not as simple or obvious as it might appear, specifically that it cannot be …Read more
  • Edward S. Casey’s rich and detailed work on place (now spanning at least seven books) harbors many insights regarding the hermeneutics of place—even though he does not directly address this topic under that heading. So I begin by briefly mapping his work in its relevance to the hermeneutics of place. This lets me descry an underlying methodological and conceptual trajectory that contextualizes the main task of this chapter, namely, articulating two of Casey’s distinctive contributions to the he…Read more
  •  27
    Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology
    Northwestern University Press. 2019.
    Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology shows how the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, from its very beginnings, seeks to find sense or meaning within nature, and how this quest calls for and develops into a radically new ontology. David Morris first gives an illuminating analysis of sense, showing how it requires understanding nature as engendering new norms. He then presents innovative studies of Merleau-Ponty's The Structure of Behavior and Phenomenology of Perception, revealing how these…Read more
  •  112
    From the Nature of Meaning to a Phenomenological Refiguring of Nature
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 72 317-341. 2013.
    I argue that reconciling nature with human experience requires a new ontology in which nature is refigured as being in and of itself meaningful, thus reconfiguring traditional dualisms and the . But this refiguring of nature entails a method in which nature itself can exhibit its conceptual reconfiguration—otherwise we get caught in various conceptual and methodological problems that surreptitiously reduplicate the problem we are seeking to resolve. I first introduce phenomenology as a methodolo…Read more
  •  13
    Rethinking development: introduction to a special section of phenomenology and the cognitive sciences
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (4): 565-569. 2017.
    This introduction to a special section of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences reviews some historical and contemporary results concerning the role of development in cognition and experience, arguing that at this juncture development is an important topic for research in phenomenology and the cognitive sciences. It then suggests some ways in which the concept of development is in need of rethinking, in relation to the phenomena, and reviews the contributions that articles in the section make…Read more
  •  74
    Hegel on the Life of the Understanding
    International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (4): 403-419. 2006.
    This article clarifies Hegel’s argument within “Force and the Understanding” in his Phenomenology of Spirit by developing Hegel’s underlying point through discussion of recent and ongoing issues concerning explanation in natural and psychological science. The latter proceeds by way of a critical discussion of the problem of other minds and the “theory theory of mind.” The article thereby shows how and why Hegel’s analysis of the understanding inaugurates a crucial transition in his Phenomenology…Read more
  •  55
    Interrogating Ethics
    Symposium 11 (1): 180-183. 2007.
  • After Finitude’s project of returning philosophy to the “great outdoors” hinges on a critique of subject-object correlation as central to phenomenology (“correlationism”). A philosophy that pursues being from within the terms of correlation, Meillasoux argues, can never reach being itself and remains anthropocentric. His provocative diagnosis of this problem, via the related problem of ancestrality, presses key questions about philosophy and its beginnings. After Finitude’s critique of phenomeno…Read more
  • Institution, Expression, and the Temporality of Meaning in Merleau-Ponty
    In Kirsten Jacobson & John Russon (eds.), Perception and its Development in Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology, University of Toronto Press. pp. 193-220. 2017.
    This chapter aims to give insight into meaning as an inherently temporal phenomenon. It does so to shed light on Merleau-Ponty’s later concept of institution, which names an event that generates meaning without, however, being an act of constitution anchored in an already given subject or concepts. Institution thus undoes any full presence behind meaning. It does so precisely by conceptualizing meaning in temporal terms, as in Merleau-Ponty’s formula that institution designates “those events in …Read more
  •  8
    Merleau-Ponty, la passivité et la scienceJe soutiens qu’il y a plus en jeu dans l’intérêt de Merleau-Ponty pour la science qu’une simple dialectique entre disciplines. C’est parce que son évolutionméthodologique le conduit à trouver dans la science un moyen spécifique d’approfondir ses recherches ontologiques, que celle-ci hante de plus en plus sa philosophie. En effet, dans le chapitre « champ phénoménal » de la Phénoménologie de la perception, il est possible de rapprocher certains aspects de …Read more
  •  3
    Le chiasme de l’être: une exploration de l’ontologie du sens de Merleau-PontyLa question de l’ontologie inclut celle de savoir comment un être se détermine et acquiert son sens, autrement dit comment il instaure sa différenciation par desorientations, des significations et des différences en général. Cette étude explore l’idée que le sens d’un être provient d’une « chiralité ontologique », c’est-à-dire d’un type de différence ontologique présentant un apparentement caractéristique de ses deux cô…Read more
  •  19
    I suggest how Merleau-Pontian sense hinges on an ontology in which passivity and what I call “development” are fundamental. This means, though, that the possibility of philosophy cannot be guaranteed in advance: philosophy is a joint operation of philosophers and being, and is radically contingent on a pre-philosophical field. Merleau-Ponty thus transforms philosophy, revealing a philosophy of tomorrow: a new way of doing philosophy that, because it is grounded in pre-reflective contingency, has…Read more
  • Our sense of space depends on our embodiment, specifically on a topology of the lived body. ;Spatial perception does not recover static spatial dimensions that are specified outside perception, as some traditional theories claim. Chapter one shows this through studies that criticise Descartes's and Berkeley's accounts of depth perception, and trace their continuing influence. A study of The Phenomenology of Perception shows how Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology demands a new account that conceives d…Read more
  •  19
    Time, Memory, Institution: Merleau-Ponty's New Ontology of Self
    with Kym Maclaren
    Ohio University Press. 2015.
    This collection is the first extended investigation of the relation between time and memory in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s thought as a whole as well as the first to explore in depth the significance of his concept of institution. It brings the French phenomenologist’s views on the self and ontology into contemporary focus. Time, Memory, Institution argues that the self is not a self-contained or self-determining identity, as such, but is gathered out of a radical openness to what is not self, and t…Read more
  •  17
    The Chirality of Being: Exploring a Merleau-Ponteian Ontology of Sense
    Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning Merleau-Ponty’s Thought 12 165-182. 2011.
    Le chiasme de l’être: une exploration de l’ontologie du sens de Merleau-PontyLa question de l’ontologie inclut celle de savoir comment un être se détermine et acquiert son sens, autrement dit comment il instaure sa différenciation par desorientations, des significations et des différences en général. Cette étude explore l’idée que le sens d’un être provient d’une « chiralité ontologique », c’est-à-dire d’un type de différence ontologique présentant un apparentement caractéristique de ses deux cô…Read more
  •  1
  •  77
    Merleau-Ponty, la passivité et la scienceJe soutiens qu’il y a plus en jeu dans l’intérêt de Merleau-Ponty pour la science qu’une simple dialectique entre disciplines. C’est parce que son évolutionméthodologique le conduit à trouver dans la science un moyen spécifique d’approfondir ses recherches ontologiques, que celle-ci hante de plus en plus sa philosophie. En effet, dans le chapitre « champ phénoménal » de la Phénoménologie de la perception, il est possible de rapprocher certains aspects de …Read more
  •  28
    The Chirality of Being
    Chiasmi International 12 165-182. 2010.
    Le chiasme de l’être: une exploration de l’ontologie du sens de Merleau-PontyLa question de l’ontologie inclut celle de savoir comment un être se détermine et acquiert son sens, autrement dit comment il instaure sa différenciation par desorientations, des significations et des différences en général. Cette étude explore l’idée que le sens d’un être provient d’une « chiralité ontologique », c’est-à-dire d’un type de différence ontologique présentant un apparentement caractéristique de ses deux cô…Read more
  •  76
    This article pursues overlapping points about ontology, philosophical method, and our kinship with and difference from nonhuman animals. The ontological point is that being is determinately different in different places not because of differences, or even a space, already given in advance, but in virtue of a negative in being that is regional and rooted in place, which Mer-leau-Ponty calls the “hollow.” The methodological point is that we tend to miss this ontological point because we are inclin…Read more
  •  125
    The enigma of reversibility and the genesis of sense in Merleau-ponty
    Continental Philosophy Review 43 (2): 141-165. 2010.
    This article clarifies Merleau-Ponty’s enigmatic, later concept of reversibility by showing how it is connected to the theme of the genesis of sense. The article first traces reversibility through “Eye and Mind” and The Visible and the Invisible , in ways that link reversibility to a theme of the earlier philosophy, namely an interrelation in which activity and passivity reverse to one another. This linkage is deepened through a detailed study of a passage on touch in the Phenomenology ’s chapte…Read more
  •  549
    This is a concordance of page numbers in the following editions of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception: English editions prior to the Routledge Classics 2002; Routledge Classics edition, with the new pagination; the French edition from Gallimard, prior to 2005; the 2e edition from Gallimard, 2005, with new pagination.