Husserl's Challenge to Merleau-Ponty's Embodied Intersubjectivity

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In this paper, I show how Husserl, via the method of the epoche, dissolves Merleau-Ponty’s starting point in the gestalt structuralism of primary corporeal intersubjectivity, revealing a more radically temporal foundation that has nothing of gestalt form in it. Whereas for Merleau-Ponty, the dependency of the parts belonging to a whole is a presupposed unity, for Husserl, a whole instantiates a temporal story unfolding each of its parts out of the others associatively-synthetically as the furthering of a continuous progression or enrichment of sense. As a consequence of the deconstruction of the gestalt, Husserl’s notion of the foreign must be understood in different terms than that of corporeal otherness. He offers an otherness to self that manifests itself as a thematic belonging to self whose self-similarity presupposes and is built from this irreducible foreignness. This is not a privileging the same over the different , but rather a situating of the binary in a more insubstantial and therefore more intimate space of relationship than that of corporeal embodiment.
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First archival date: 2019-12-19
Latest version: 2 (2021-03-10)
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