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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 12

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And here is a new book on MP and phenomenology that is probably, from reviewer accounts, the best book to read for those interested in understanding phenomenological-existential ontology:

David Morris, Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology

https://www.amazon.com/dp/081013793...3cCSD-Ygbp4ciOGylcD9tCXZvKHvL272acDZ1__hc4Jrc

Amazon description:

"Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology shows how the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, from its very beginnings, seeks to find sense or meaning within nature, and how this quest calls for and develops into a radically new ontology.

David Morris first gives an illuminating analysis of sense, showing how it requires understanding nature as engendering new norms. He then presents innovative studies of Merleau-Ponty's The Structure of Behavior and Phenomenology of Perception, revealing how these early works are oriented by the problem of sense and already lead to difficulties about nature, temporality, and ontology that preoccupy Merleau-Ponty's later work. Morris shows how resolving these difficulties requires seeking sense through its appearance in nature, prior to experience—ultimately leading to radically new concepts of nature, time, and philosophy.

Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology makes key issues in Merleau-Ponty's philosophy clear and accessible to a broad audience while also advancing original philosophical conclusions."


Reviewer comments on this new book by David Morris:

“This book is unique as a contribution both to Merleau-Ponty scholarship and to a renewed phenomenological ontology. Drawing on contemporary life sciences and cosmology, it presents an organic and dynamic view of how meaning and a factual order arise and appear in being, space, and time. Hardly ever has the plea for a radical transcendental empiricism, instead of traditional forms of subjectivism, been made so concretely and convincingly.” —Rudolf Bernet, author of Force, Drive, Desire: A Philosophy of Psychoanalysis

"This scintillating text offers two books for the price of one: not only does it offer an insightful and innovative reading of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, early and late, but it also establishes David Morris as an original voice to be heard in its own right. The reader is provided with a rich panoply of new ways of finding sense embedded in experience and in being, and all this in the context of a phenomenology of nature, a new model of 'development' of life and the cosmos, and an inaugural notion of “templacement” that surpasses earlier discussions of space and time and is shown to be the foundation of a radically new ontology. The result is a tour de force in which contemporary immunology and biology and cosmic theory join forces with Merleau-Ponty’s final search for 'wild being.' This is one of the most exciting, intellectually engaging, and profound books of our time." —Edward S. Casey, author of The World on Edge

Note that the paperback edition has apparently been sold out already but is being reprinted and bound for further sales at amazon and elsewhere.
 
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NATURE AS EXPRESSIVE SYNTHESIS: THE SENSIBLE AWAKENING OF THE TRANSCENDENTAL BETWEEN KANT, HUSSERL AND MERLEAU-PONTY

DON BEITH
University of Maine, Department of Philosophy. 04469 Orono, Maine, USA. E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract: The critical insights of transcendental philosophy and phenomenology evolve out of a tension in the nature of consciousness. On the one hand, consciousness is a synthetic activity or intentional that discloses the horizon in which meanings and objects have conditions of possibility. On the other hand, in perception we find the workings of sense that point to a dynamic, expressive origin prior to the pure activity of consciousness. Our investigation is concerned with explaining how this passivity of consciousness is itself a synthesis that arises out of our expressive bodily nature. There is a clear logical connection between the ways Immanuel Kant, Edmund Husserl, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty conceive of a synthesis within sensibility and bodily affectivity, where each thinker requires us to conceptualize nature as a mode of expressivity, with the implication that transcendental conditions of possibility must, mysteriously, happen within the very intercorporeal and temporal fields that they render possible.
Key words: Phenomenology, transcendental idealism, Kant, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, consciousness, temporality.

INTRODUCTION
"The critical insights of transcendental philosophy and phenomenology evolve out of a tension in the nature of consciousness. On the one hand, consciousness is a synthetic activity or intentionality that discloses the horizon in which meanings and objects have conditions of possibility. On the other hand, in perception we find the workings of sense that point to a dynamic, expressive origin prior to the pure activity of consciousness. Our investigation concerns how this passivity of consciousness is a synthesis that arises out of our expressive bodily nature. There is a clear logical connection between the ways Immanuel Kant, Edmund Husserl, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty conceive of a synthesis within sensibility and bodily affectivity, where each thinker requires us to conceptualize nature as a mode of expressivity, with the implication that transcendental conditions of possibility must, mysteriously, happen within the very intercorporeal and temporal fields that they render possible.

Kant’s provocative concept of “transcendental affinity” in his 1781 Critique of Pure Reason reveals a level of kinship between our pre-reflective experience of nature and the pre-conceptual association of sensation by the imagination. The primordial associative workings of the imagination resonate with a pre-objective nature that is not yet determined by concepts, but rather prepares itself to be thought. As a bridge between cognition and sensibility, imaginative synthesis as immanent to the field of experience breaks down the logical distinction between a priori and a posteriori. For Husserl, the very form of experience is temporally dynamic, and consciousness as a
necessary condition of experience is manifest in and through an affective awakening.

.Husserl works, like Kant, in his Analyses Concerning Passive and Active Synthesis [to expose] a level of immanent, flowing synthesis, termed operative intentionality. Consciousness emerges through a call-response structure and is animated by this level of affective bodily synthesis at which the dichotomies of activity and passivity, a priori and a posteriori, self and world, do not hold. For Husserl, transcendental consciousness happens out of an affective, pre-conceptual awakening. In Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception and Institution lectures we find a combination of these two problems. Merleau-Ponty explores consciousness, like Husserl, as a temporally emergent and awakening field of sense, but like Kant, Merleau-Ponty finds this imaginative proto-production of sense to be the mark of a deep affinity between consciousness and nature as expressive
institutions.

Kant’s affinity with nature is phenomenologically manifest through the natural generality of the lived body, and the expressive, acquired depth of its natural past. Consciousness must emerge from nature, and must awaken through emotion, and this requires driving the implications of Kant’s critique of the imagination and Husserl’s phenomenology of operative intentionality to their furthest logical conclusions: an overcoming [of] division of dualisms of activity/passivity, fact/essence and contingency/necessity, past/present, by showing nature itself, and its institutions of life and consciousness, to be an expressive movement from nonsense to sense. This way of thinking resituates transcendental conditions of possibility as transformative events within histories of local, divergent forms of life and consciousness. If we drive these philosophical methods to their furthest logical conclusions, transcendental idealism and phenomenology mutually illuminate the radical embeddedness of transcendental conditions of possibility within a generative time of natural expressivity. . . ."

Nature as Expressive Synthesis: The Sensible Awakening of the Transcendental between Kant, Husserl and Merleau-Ponty
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Hope you all are well! I do visit thread frequently. Haven’t posted much but definitely still very interested in the topic and reading when I can. Haven’t really stumbled across anything new but would be sure to post if I did. I miss our discussions and think of them often.
 

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