<i>Un écart infime</i> (Part II)

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

Un écart infime (Part II)

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The early thought of Merleau–Ponty, the thought of the “good equivocity,” as Merleau–Ponty would say, is a “mixturism.” This raises the question of whether this sameness, this “mixturism,” applies to all of Merleau–Ponty's thought, and to his later thought in particular as presented in “Eye and Mind” (OE 87 / 148) and The Visible and the Invisible (VI 328 / 274-75). If we want to be conceptually rigorous, what is called the thought of the same, which defines mixturism, is not, in fact, a thought of immanence, but rather a thought of transcendence. Here, a distinction is made between transcendent and transcendence, where transcendence remains an anti-Platonism. But the main idea is that wherever there is resemblance, analogy, and equivocity, there is transcendence. This change in terminology from immanence to transcendence is more consistent with Merleau–Ponty's own usage. This chapter shows that we must conceive the relation of immanence as a relation between memory and life, in which the and in the phrase refers to vision. Vision is in the middle of memory and life. But in the middle of vision is an impotence of vision, a blind spot. We find the blind spot most clearly in Foucault's analysis, in Words and Things, of Velázquez's painting Las Meninas. Now, it can be argued that we can find a blind spot in Merleau–Ponty himself. It appears, however, that there is a subtle shift in emphasis from Merleau–Ponty to Foucault concerning blindness, a subtle shift that makes all the difference.

Keywords: Merleau–Ponty; mixturism; equivocity; Foucault; transcendence; immanence; vision

Chapter.  7460 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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