Selfhood and Appearing

The Intertwining


What is the relation between our selfhood and appearing? Our embodiment positions us in the world, situating us as an object among its visible objects. Yet, by opening and shutting our eyes, we can make the visible world appear and disappear—a fact that convinces us that the world is in us. Thus, we have to assert with Merleau-Ponty that we are in the world that is in us: the two are intertwined. Author James Mensch employs the insights of Jan Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology to understand this double relationship of being-in. In this volume, he shows how this relation constitutes the reality of our selfhood, shaping our social and political interactions as well as the violence that constantly threatens to undermine them.

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James Mensch, Ph.D. (1976), University of Toronto, is Professor of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague. He has published twelve monographs (including Patočka’s Asubjective Phenomenology (Königshausen & Neumann, 2016) and Levinas’ Existential Analytic (Northwestern University Press, 2015). A member of Central European Institute of Philosophy, he has published over a hundred articles in books and journals.
"In addition to all its other achievements, the fact that Selfhood and Appearing invites us to consider the irreducible antagonism between intertwining and the dimension external to it, shows clearly that Mensch's new book truly has an impressive scope." Jakub Kowalewski, Phenomenological Reviews 2019.11.12.
All those interested in how a synthesis of Merleau-Ponty’s and Patočka’s positions illuminates our understanding of the mind-body relation, issues in social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of religion.
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