PHILOSOPHY 630: MERLEAU-PONTY AND DERRIDA

Victor Santiago

Protocol 2/23/04

 

Additions to the previous protocol

 

The Aristotelian view of the soul is like the functional relation of seeing to an eye in contrast to the Socratic view that the soul is imprisoned in the body.  Sartre’s view is similar to Socratic view is the sense that the body is other than consciousness (for Socrates soul).  MP would be closer to the Aristotelian view where the soul/consciousness respectfully is not related to the body whereby the body is an object.  That is to say the both the Socratic View and Sartre’s view are similar in that there is something controlling the body like a pilot of a ship where as in the Aristotelian view and the view of MP there is not a separation of pilot and ship.

 

Bukharin and the Ambiguity of History.

 

When Bukharin was tried during the Moscow Purge Trails for conspiracy to overthrow the Soviet government he never defended his actions.  During the trial he openly admitted his actions and accepted the consequences of those actions because of the inherent ambiguity of his actions.  Bukharin took the action he felt he should so do, accepting the possibility of getting caught and prosecuted as well as succeeding.  Living under the Soviets he accepted the social frame work he was trying to change.  Like the refusal of Socrates to escape his fate Bahrain accepted his.  The point being that one cannot appeal to the objectivity of history because in every case you will be confronted by a situation that is different.  One cannot depend on a universal principle in every situation because there is no singular way of accounting for world events. 

 

Expressivity.

 

Expressing  

                                         Expressivity

The Expressed

      

Learning and Language.

 

Behavioralism doesn’t explain learning behavior for MP; instead he adopts the view of Gestalt in his explanation.  The development is an embodied progress and not just the response to stimulus.

 

The incarnate subject has no pure thought.

 

The learning is itself speaking.

 

 

 

Learning is part of embodied gestural thinking, the intentionality of being in the world.  Learning is part of the enactment of the body.  For instance, a child presses a button and a light turns on.  The learning of how the light is turned on is not separated form the bodily action of turning the light on.

 

Parole (speech) Parlante (Speaking)

 

Parole (speech) Parlee

 

For MP it is what is in between that is important.  They cannot be separated and are no independent of each other.

 

Speaking speech and spoken speech are interwoven.  Authentic speech is possible because of this relationship.  While there is a how-we-live-speech and the study of the formalism of speech,  for MP the question is how the gestalt of how these extremes are live.

 

Language is not a thing; it is the original way of intending objects as thoughts embodied.

 

The Synchronic “subjective” envelopes and incorporates the diachronic “objective”, note there is no pure subjectivity or objectified.

 

Saussure viewed the Diachronic and Synchronic as oppositions (not these and antithesis) that form a nexus.  In the synchronic view of looking at the different elements at different slices of time you lose the historical interconnections.  One needs the Diachronic view of seeing thing through time to see how thing have changed in relation to the slices of time.  Either view could not survive with the other view.

 

A Panchronic (overview, high altitude thinking) view would supersede both.  This is impossible for MP.  A Panchronic view would fail because it would imply abstracting one self from the situation which is not possible.

 

Equilibrium

 

Every stage over time there is a re-equilibration.  At every time-slice there is equilibrium though at different time slices the equilibrium will not be the same.  There is always a circuit of existence for examples when one permanently looses function in a hand; the re-equilibration of limitations imposed is immediate.  The nascent elements of change are in any moment, there are not gaps were nothing is happening.

 

Equilibrium is not an intellectual idea it is always a lived situation...