The First Man Speaking: Merleau-Ponty on Expression as the Task of Phenomenology
Number of Authors: 1
2015 (English)In: Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, ISSN 0007-1773, Vol. 46, no 3, 195-212 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article aims to establish an understanding of Merleau-Ponty's view of creative expression, and of its phenomenological function, setting out from the intriguing statement in his essay Cezanne's Doubt that the painter (or writer or philosopher) finds himself in the situation of the first human being trying to express herself. Although the importance of primary or creative expression in Merleau-Ponty's philosophy is well known, there is no consensus among commentators with respect to how this notion is to be understood, and of its apparently paradoxical relation to experience in his philosophy. On the one hand, Merleau-Ponty seems to presuppose that there is an original meaning pre-given in experience; on the other hand, expression is described as a hazardous enterprise, because the meaning to be expressed does not exist before expression has succeeded. In order to resolve this tension, I explore the significance of the precariousness of creative expression, arguing that it must be related to its other side: the constituted, all too often petrified meaning that we must start out from.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 46, no 3, 195-212 p.
Research subject Theoretical Philosophy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118333DOI: 10.1080/00071773.2015.1021203ISI: 000354773700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-118333DiVA: diva2:823547