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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Official URL: http://philosophy.la.psu.edu/journals/Chiasmi_Inte...
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|
|Journal or Publication:||Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning Merleau-Ponty’s Thought|
|Series Name:||Life and Individuation|
|Deposited By:||DAVID MORRIS|
|Deposited On:||23 Nov 2009 13:25|
|Last Modified:||08 Dec 2010 18:49|
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