Chapter

Nature and Life-World

Fred Dallmayr

in Return to Nature?

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780813134338
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813135953 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813134338.003.0006
Nature and Life-World

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When the emphasis on abstract theorizing shifted to a focus on lived experience, Maurice Merleau-Ponty was at the forefront. He collaborated with Jean-Paul Sartre in the French resistance movement. To fully understand Merleau-Ponty's philosophical beliefs, the three main stages of his thought are analyzed. The first phase he sought to chart his way from transcendental reflection to the ideals of the “life-world.” In this process, Merleau-Ponty discovered nature and the conflict inherent in its refusal to be both a product of mind and an external physical occurrence. The second stage continued his insight into the complexity of the lived world. In the last phase of his life, Merleau-Ponty's thought matured fully as he lectured extensively on nature and his notion of a “flesh of the world,” a phrase that illustrates that one's body is part of and shared by the world.

Keywords: Merleau-Ponty; nature; world; France; philosophy; lived experience

Chapter.  7963 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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