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What is Living and What is Non-Living in Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Movement and Expression

Title:

What is Living and What is Non-Living in Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Movement and Expression

Morris, David (2006) What is Living and What is Non-Living in Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Movement and Expression. In: Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning Merleau-Ponty’s Thought. Life and Individuation (7). VRIN/Mimesis/University of Memphis, pp. 225-239. ISBN 978-88-8483-502-4

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Abstract

Ancient philosophy models non-living processes in terms of living beings; modern science and philosophy reverses this priority by conceiving the living as evolving from the non-living. Recent work in science and philosophy questions that reversal, by emphasizing how living beings are self-organizing, active agencies. But in the contemporary context we would need a new concept of nature to follow through on this reversal, to fit self-organizing organisms with nature as a whole.
A study of the themes of structure, expression and sense across Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy opens a way toward this new concept. Points from Bergson and Hegel lead to a concept of expression as a movement that creates new possibility. Results from immunology and evolutionary cellular biology let us detect such a movement of sense in nature. This gives a model for thinking of nature as a whole as an expressive, living movement—for thinking of the law of the non-living as the visible outgrowth of an invisible expressive movement of the universe.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Book Section
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Morris, David
Journal or Publication:Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning Merleau-Ponty’s Thought
Series Name:Life and Individuation
Date:2006
ID Code:6445
Deposited By:DAVID MORRIS
Deposited On:23 Nov 2009 13:25
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 18:49
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