Figures of Silence: The Intrigues of Desire in Merleau-Ponty and Lyotard

in Research in Phenomenology
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My article examines the role played by the phenomenon of silence both in Merleau- Ponty’s thinking and in Lyotard’s. I show thereby the continuity between the two philosophers in spite of the distance taken by Lyotard towards the phenomenological tradition. The aim of phenomenology to express the pure sense of silent experience is in fact taken up in a peculiar way by Lyotard as the action of desire and can well be used as a key to understand the unity of his thinking. The comparison between Merleau-Ponty and Lyotard also shows that silence is a central topic in order to understand the political dimension of works of art, not as participants in political struggles, but as tools made for the empowerment of our capacity to perceive.

Figures of Silence: The Intrigues of Desire in Merleau-Ponty and Lyotard

in Research in Phenomenology

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References

1

Jean-François Lyotard“Freud selon Cézanne,” in Des dispositifs pulsionnels (Paris: Galilée1994) 86.

10

Maurice Merleau-Ponty“Eye and Mind” in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Paintinged. Galen A. Johnson trans. M.B. Smith (Evanston: Northwestern University Press1993) 146; cited hereafter em.

17

Jean-François LyotardDiscourse Figure (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press2011) 12; cited hereafter as df.

37

Jean-François Lyotard“Formule charnelle,” in Misère de la philosophie (Paris: Galilée2000) 280.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Thierry Fontaine, Cri lourd (Heavy Cry), 2000. Courtesy of the artist
  • View in gallery
    Thierry Fontaine, Cri à terre (Cry on the Ground), 2000. Courtesy of the artist
  • View in gallery
    Thierry Fontaine, Cri dans le noir (Cry in the Night), 2001. Courtesy of the artist
  • View in gallery
    Thierry Fontaine, Cri des champs (Cry in the Fields), 2000. Courtesy of the artist

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