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The Temporality of Merleau-Ponty’s “Intertwining”

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Chapter Summary

One of the persisting paradoxes of philosophy is how one can have a dual relation to the world. As Merleau-Ponty observed, this is the view of our ordinary "perceptual faith". As he writes, when author sees an object, he believes "his vision terminates in it, that it holds and stops gaze with its insurmountable density". The object is out there in the world, a world that includes author as one of the visible objects. This chapter explores how this intertwining of self and the world justifies faith we have in perception, by examining a number of examples. In each case, object "in itself" will turn out to be neither within us nor outside of us, but rather at intersection set by intertwining. The chapter then turns to what this disclosure of this object reveals about human temporality and, indeed, about human being as a place (or "clearing") that permits disclosure.

Keywords: dual relation; human temporality; intertwining; Merleau-Ponty; perceptual faith



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