Between Sensibility and Understanding: Kant and Merleau-Ponty and the Critique of Reason

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 29 (3):335-345 (2015)
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ABSTRACT Whether explicitly or implicitly, Kant's critical project weighs heavily upon Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception. This article argues that we can understand Merleau-Ponty's text as a phenomenological rewriting of the Critique of Pure Reason from within the paradoxical structures of lived experience, effectively merging Kant's Transcendental Aesthetic and Transcendental Analytic. Although he was influenced by Husserl's and Heidegger's interpretations of Kant's first version of the Transcendental Deduction, Merleau-Ponty develops a unique position between Kant, Husserl, and Heidegger via an embodied and lived synthesis that collapses Kant's distinction between sensibility and the understanding, and that makes sense of temporality and subjectivity as a paradoxical trajectory.
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