Merleau-Ponty’s Hermeneutics of the Normal and the Pathological
Invited conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings



摘要A philosophical discussion of the problem of human capacity is based on the conviction that human being is capable of truth in general and capable of truth about the human being in particular. But this conviction is inseparable from the recognition that human being is a being of finitude, to whom truth is a matter of overcoming error. Thus truth is a function of error, or even rooted in error. Understood in this manner, the conceptualization of truth must include the thematization of error as one of its constitutive elements. Likewise, a phenomenological approach to the study of human capacity must thematize the phenomena of disability, of illness and of the pathological. These phenomena are not the denial of human capacity but rather the moments of constitutive negativity of the human being as a being of capacity. For those who understand phenomenological philosophy not as a naturalism nor a positivism, the recognition of the positive role played by moments of constitutive negativity such as nothingness, absence, difference, écart and the invisible in the manifestation of phenomena should not be a subject of great dispute. Yet sometimes it needs thinkers at the peripheral or even outside the phenomenological movement as such, such as Foucault, to remind us of this state of affairs. While we think that Foucault is amply right to raise from the point of view of theory construction the question of the constitutive role played by moments of negativity in the formation of the concept of life, rationality and world, his historical line of demarcation should be subjected to a more nuanced revision. We will show that in Merleau-Ponty's "Phenomenology of Perception", the constitutive role of negative elements is already well thematized in his hermeneutics of the normal and the pathological in the well-known phenomenology of the body-subject as the basis of a phenomenology of the human capacity. Thus Merleau-Ponty, though a phenomenologist through and through, is exempted from the positivist naivety as was seen from the eyes of Foucault.
著者LAU Kwok-ying
會議名稱The 7th Conference of PEACE (Phenomenology for East-Asian CirclE) “Phenomenology of Dis/Ability”
關鍵詞Merleau-Ponty, phenomenology, hermeneutics, the normal, the Pathological

上次更新時間 2018-23-05 於 10:40