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Other titles in the Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existen series:
Merleau-Ponty's Last Vision: A Proposal for the Completion of "The Visible and the Invisible" (Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existen)by Douglas Low
Synopses & Reviews
Few writers' unfinished works are considered to be among their most important, but such is the case with Maurice Merleau-Ponty's "The Visible and the Invisible". What exists of it is a mere beginning, published posthumously, yet it is considered to have opened the path from modernism to postmodernism in philosophy.<P>Merleau-Ponty is among the best of the "first generation" of French phenomenologists. His untimely death in 1961 left "The Visible and the Invisible" in a fragmentary state that exacerbates the text's difficulty and complexity. Low's insight is that material from some of Merleau-Ponty's lecture courses — specifically, essays from 1952 onward, including his published lecture summaries from the College de France — can provide the basis for completion. Working from this material and an outline of the book left by Merleau-Ponty, Low has written an account of how the book would have looked had Merleau-Ponty lived to complete it.<P>Low shows a thorough mastery of the material and clarifies many difficult issues. Rather than presenting an argument, he presents an integration and extrapolation that go far beyond mere summary of the material: this distinguished scholar ends up providing a commentary on a work that was never finished, on various texts that were never published together, and on some that were never published at all. In the book's preface, Low writes: <P" am fully aware that every exposition is an interpretation, and I believe that Merleau-Ponty was surely aware of this as well. . . . While I do not claim to here offer the interpretation, which would indeed be impossible, this work does try to confront and analyze these later texts on their own terms, in their propercontext, and in their entirety.
Few writers' unfinished works are considered among their most important, but such is the case with Merleau-Ponty's The Visible and the Invisible. What exists of it is a mere beginning, yet it bridged modernism and postmodernism in philosophy. Low uses material from some of Merleau-Ponty's later works as the basis for completion. Working from this material and the philosopher's own outline, Low presents how this important work would have looked had Merleau-Ponty lived to complete it.
About the Author
Douglas Low is a professor of Religious Studies at Oakland City University.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Proposal for Completing Merleau-Ponty's The Visible and the Invisible
Part 1. "The Visible and Nature"
1. Philosophical Interrogation
2. The Visible
4. Classical Ontology and Modern Ontology
Part 2. "The Invisible and Logos"
5. "The Invisible and Logos
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