Holism, content and self


“[T]here must be, then, corresponding to the open unity of the world, an open and indefinite unity of subjectivity. Like the world’s unity, that of the I is invoked rather than experienced each time I perform an act of perception, each time I reach a self-evident truth, and the universal I is the background against which these effulgent forms stand out: it is through one present thought that I achieve the unity of all my thoughts…The primary truth is indeed ‘I think’, but only provided that we understand thereby ‘I belong to myself’ while belonging to the world.”

Text reproduced from Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception, quoted in Place and Experience, A Philosophical Topography, J Malpas, Cambridge University Press, 1999:pp.72. Image reproduced from http://merleau.jp/whatsE.html

The Flesh of Words > Derma[uto]graphic drifts

Dermographisme [aka dermographism, dermatographismm or “skin writing] – Démence précoce catatonique, from Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpêtrière, Paris, 1904.

“Language is understood by Merleau-Ponty according to the self enfolding of the flesh. Language is not dependent on any voice but is what gives voice to the world itself. He writes that “language is everything since it is the voice of no-one, since it is the very voice of the things, the waves and the forests.” Language, in short, is the result of or is made possible by the dehiscence or folding back of the flesh of the world. [Invagination?]. In this sense language too is ‘another flesh’, another ‘wild being.’ Continue reading