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The Visible and the Invisible

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  243 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The Visible and the Invisible contains the unfinished manuscript and working notes of the book Merleau-Ponty was writing when he died. The text is devoted to a critical examination of Kantian, Husserlian, Bergsonian, and Sartrean method, followed by the extraordinary "The Intertwining--The Chiasm," that reveals the central pattern of Merleau-Ponty's own thought. The workin...more
Paperback, 338 pages
Published January 1st 1969 by Northwestern University Press (first published 1964)
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This is... not an easy book to read. I probably only got about 35-40% of it, to be perfectly honest. Having a grounding in the work of the philosophers to whom Merleau-Ponty is largely responding would have helped immensely; as it was, I have only a moderate familiarity with Descartes and a surface understanding of Kant. I had had no experience with Husserl. If you're interested in reading this book, I strongly recommend shoring up your background in these other thinkers first.

That said, the mom...more
What could have been is probably better than what is or was. M-P, who often wrote that uncompleted works were sometimes more complete than finished ones, died before finishing this book. What we have is a section that is a negative critique of philosophies of reflection, intuition, and dialectic, 5 or 6 finished pages that begin a positive ontology, and a bunch of "working notes" which are notoriously impenetrable. Yikes.

What the working notes reveal is that The Visible and the Invisible was go...more
After reading Phenomenology of Perception, this book can deepen much of the investigations taken up there. In my opinion it's largely consistent with it, yet contextualizes the same train of thought with that 'state of non-philosophy' we are in ('never has the crisis been so radical'). It thus comes out highly polemical; though the main scapegoat is Sartre, Husserl is also an important figure Merleau-Ponty disputes. Especially in the working notes one can see that his main inspiration is Heidegg...more
Ben Kearvell
Just as dense as Phenomenology of Perception (the 'working notes' will set your eyeballs on fire), Merleau-Ponty posits Being in the world, and the world in Being. Experience--consciousness--cannot be extricated from extension; that is to say the world as we have it (extension) constitutes consciousness. One's interiority depends on the world and vice versa.
Dec 04, 2012 Eugen added it
His unfinished masterpiece. The chapter on "The Intertwining" might just be an analysis at the farthest limit phenomenology permits. Beyond lies the Scylla and Charybdis of metaphysical speculation and the vortex of limitless deconstruction.
Daniel Douglas
Another great unfinished work in Phenomenology. Merleau-Ponty is a powerhouse and it was sad that he was taken too soon.
Kelly Hicks
We'll see how helpful this is for the diss. A good intro to phenomenology.
Nothingness *is* sexy.
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  • On the Way to Language
  • The Logic of Sense
  • Totality and Infinity:  An Essay on Exteriority
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Being and Event
  • Philosophical Hermeneutics
  • The Animal That Therefore I Am
  • Negative Dialectics
  • Matter and Memory
  • Process and Reality
  • The Life of the Mind
  • The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures
  • The Writing of the Disaster
  • Oneself as Another
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (pronounced [mɔʁis mɛʁlopɔ̃ti] in French; March 14, 1908 – May 3, 1961) was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger in addition to being closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. At the core of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy is a sustained argument for the foundational role that perception plays in u...more
More about Maurice Merleau-Ponty...
Phenomenology of Perception The Primacy of Perception: And Other Essays on Phenomenological Psychology, the Philosophy of Art, History and Politics The World of Perception L'Œil et l'Esprit Sense and Non-Sense

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“The flesh is at the heart of the world.” 9 likes
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