Transcendental Philosophy and the Challenge of the Human Body: Merleau-Ponty and Kant

Journal title PARADIGMI
Author/s Angelica Nuzzo
Publishing Year 2012 Issue 2012/1 Language English
Pages 15 P. 157-171 File size 100 KB
DOI 10.3280/PARA2012-001009
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This essay discusses Merleau-Ponty’s assessment of Kant’s philosophy looking first at his critique of Kant’s transcendental idealism in the preface to the 1945 Phenomenology of Perception, and second at his account of the duality of the concepts of nature in the 1956-57 lecture notes on Nature at the Collège de France. In both cases, Merleau-Ponty points to the encounter with the issue of the living/lived body as the stumbling block that halts the transcendental inquiry leading to his transcendental phenomenology. Along this itinerary, countering Merleau-Ponty’s reading a different interpretation of Kant is offered. The claim is made that Kant did not evade the problem of the human body but made it functional to his own transcendental inquiry. Task of this essay is to measure the distance that separates the two accounts of Kant’s view of sensibility, namely, the critical account that inspires Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of the lived body leading him beyond the alleged impasse of Kant’s transcendental idealism, and what the author claims to be Kant’s own transcendental view of sensibility.

Keywords: Body, Nature, Phenomenology, Sensibility, Space, Transcendental philosophy .

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Angelica Nuzzo, Transcendental Philosophy and the Challenge of the Human Body: Merleau-Ponty and Kant in "PARADIGMI" 1/2012, pp 157-171, DOI: 10.3280/PARA2012-001009