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The Madness of Vision: The Painter as Phenomenologist in Merleau-Ponty

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Chapter Summary

This chapter throws light on the following points concerning overall understanding of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy; (i) Since Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology aims at a rehabilitation of the sensible, he has an aesthetics constructed around his meditations on art and painting which forms an integral part of his philosophy, (ii) The evolution of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of pictorial vision is parallel to development of Merleau-Ponty's ontological thinking, with effect that his meditation on painting occupies progressively more central position within his entire philosophical endeavor, and (iii) The aesthetics embedded in Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of pictorial vision is an aesthetics of a new type: it is not a conceptual framework constructed to explain or to give sense to aesthetic experiences in general; rather, it is aesthetic experiences understood as experiences of sensible which provide the basis for a new conception of ontology; ontology of the flesh which is the Sensible-in-itself, the origin of all forms of idealities.

Keywords: aesthetic experiences; Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology; ontology; pictorial vision



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