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An Analysis of Time's Involuntariness in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology Through Habits and Their Constructive Interruption

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An Analysis of Time's Involuntariness in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology Through Habits and Their Constructive Interruption

Polce, G. (2017) An Analysis of Time's Involuntariness in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology Through Habits and Their Constructive Interruption. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Phenomenological accounts of temporal awareness are distinctive because they highlight the way time is radically involuntary. When attending to the progression or transitions of phenomena, we find that the temporal relations between moments are immediately given as a whole, without our participation. This paper explores how Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception accounts for this involuntariness.

An exegesis of Al-Saji’s work on racist vision, A Phenomenology of Hesitation, contextualizes this discussion by demonstrating what is at stake in accounting for time’s involuntariness. Al-Saji uses a language of affect to describe why racist vision is problematic. Al-Saji uses affect as a framework for describing the involuntary temporal relations implicit within perception. By focusing on how time is structured at an affective level, Al-Saji accounts for how racist vision can be changed. In this course of this account, Al-Saji criticizes Phenomenology of Perception because it fails to provide the conceptual tools for giving an explicit account of time’s radical involuntariness.

Using insights from Al-Saji’s critique, I argue that Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology can generate a nuanced account of time’s involuntariness without an explicit account of affect. Building on the readings of Sallis, Kelly, and Casey, I investigate the connections between time, subjectivity, and habits made in the Phenomenology. I argue that Merleau-Ponty posits an impersonal time as the condition of subjectivity. That premise has consequences for how we should understand the Phenomenology’s account of habit. The upshot of this reading is that the Phenomenology’s account of habit is consistent with Al-Saji’s account of racist vision.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Polce, G.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Philosophy
Date:September 2017
ID Code:983014
Deposited By: GABRIELE POLCE
Deposited On:12 Sep 2017 13:36
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56
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