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Return to Nature?An Ecological Counterhistory$
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Fred Dallmayr

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813134338

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813134338.001.0001

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Nature and Life-World

Nature and Life-World


(p.97) 5 Nature and Life-World
Return to Nature?

Fred Dallmayr

University Press of Kentucky

When the emphasis on abstract theorizing shifted to a focus on lived experience, Maurice Merleau-Ponty was at the forefront. He collaborated with Jean-Paul Sartre in the French resistance movement. To fully understand Merleau-Ponty's philosophical beliefs, the three main stages of his thought are analyzed. The first phase he sought to chart his way from transcendental reflection to the ideals of the “life-world.” In this process, Merleau-Ponty discovered nature and the conflict inherent in its refusal to be both a product of mind and an external physical occurrence. The second stage continued his insight into the complexity of the lived world. In the last phase of his life, Merleau-Ponty's thought matured fully as he lectured extensively on nature and his notion of a “flesh of the world,” a phrase that illustrates that one's body is part of and shared by the world.

Keywords:   Merleau-Ponty, nature, world, France, philosophy, lived experience

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