Leonard Lawlor

in The Implications of Immanence

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226535
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235742 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy


Show Summary Details


This introductory chapter discusses an imperative from Merleau–Ponty called “life-ism.” It argues that we must obey this imperative if we want to conceive an archē, an origin or a principle, such as the principle of life. Here is the imperative in its negative form: the principle must be conceived as neither positive nor negative, as neither infinite nor finite, as neither internal nor external, as neither objective nor subjective; it can be thought through neither idealism nor realism, through neither finalism (or teleology) nor mechanism, through neither determinism nor indeterminism, through neither humanism nor naturalism, through neither metaphysics nor physics. Veering off into one of these extremes is precisely “what we must not do.” In short, for Merleau–Ponty, there must be no separation between the two poles. But also, there must be no coincidence.

Keywords: metaphysics; life-ism; immanence; Merleau–Ponty

Chapter.  1190 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.