Torben Huus Larsen
Addressing problems of humanism and hierarchy in Heidegger’s concept of dwelling, this essay will attempt to show how Merleau-Ponty, in dialogue Heidegger, restores humans to their place within the living world of Brute or Wild Being that transcends us. Rather than seeing humans as the only beings capable of Dasein, the only ones for whom Being comes into presence as Heidegger does, Merleau-Ponty asserts the plenitude of Being active within the whole flesh of the world. For him, ‘dwelling’ would be an intertwining within an historical unfolding congruent with biological evolution and the insights of modern physics. Creativity is then the unfolding, ever novel form of Being which includes earth and its denizens, as well as the cosmos. A post-humanist ecological ethics can be shaped from Heidegger’s ideas of the ‘saving grace’ possible in human caring, but adapted according to Merleau-Ponty’s perspective, to participate within the larger community of kindred beings in our biosphere, who also may be understood as having agency and sentience.