Body and Time-Space in Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty

In: Research in Phenomenology
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Abstract

Comparisons between Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty’s writings on the body tend to focus on the earlier works of these philosophers, i.e. on Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception, and Heidegger’s Zollikon Seminars in the context of Being and Time. This paper focuses on their later works in order to show how each philosopher respectively opens venues to think the human body non-subjectively and as emerging from being, where being includes the being also of other bodies, things, or events. This thinking of bodies “from being” articulates them in terms of spatio-temporal events. The article shows that in thinking from being, both Heidegger’s and Merleau-Ponty’s accounts harbor a sense of being with a unifying force, which is tied to meaning or sense. The article ends by questioning the possibility of accounts of bodies as spatio-temporal events not bound by a unifying force of being, bodies that may carry both sense and non-sense.

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