Merleau-Ponty and Modern Politics After Anti-Humanism

Merleau-Ponty and Modern Politics After Anti-Humanism

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In this important new book, Diana Coole shows how existential phenomenology illuminates and enlivens our understanding of politics. Merleau-Pontya€™s focus on embodied experience allows us to approach political life in a manner that is both critical and engaged. With breadth of vision and penetrating insight, Coole demonstrates that political questions were always central to Merleau-Pontya€™s philosophical project. Her examination of his complete body of work presents us with a rigorous philosophy that maintains our capacities for agency despite moving beyond a philosophy of the subject. Merleau-Ponty and Modern Politics after Anti-humanism is the first major work on Merleau-Pontya€™s political philosophy in over two decades. Coole presents his later philosophy of flesh as the outline for a new understanding of the political, which forms the basis for reconsidering humanism after, but also through, anti-humanism. She also shows how Merleau-Pontya€™s concern with contingency anticipated arguments by thinkers such as Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze, while sustaining a robust sense of politics as the domain of collective life. The result is a philosophical analysis that speaks to our contemporary concerns in which we seek a coherent account of our actions, our environment and ourselves, such that we might become exemplary political actors within a complex and uncertain world.It is by questioning its environment (resonant with a€œquestions merely latenta€) from the perspective of contextual lacunae (a€œa vague feeling of uneasinessa€) that the body drives a wedge into the objective worlda#39;s inertia. ... body must adopt a suitable orientation that allows it to respond to questions inspired by its environment; it assumes an a€œopena€ attitude in order to receive the answers given. ... I must find an attitude which will provide it with the means of becoming determinatea€ (PhP 214).

Title:Merleau-Ponty and Modern Politics After Anti-Humanism
Author:Diana Coole
Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - 2013-08-15


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