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On the concept of "incarnation" in the ontology of nature of Merleau-Ponty: anthropological implications

Grant number: 16/04236-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2016
Effective date (End): January 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Reinaldo Furlan
Grantee:Elena Pagni
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The philosopher Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) links the fundamental attempt of a new ontology of nature to the pivotal question of the phenomenon of life, understood as a natural phenomenon that - through evolution - embodies a singular existence. As remarked by Merleau-Ponty, the human being gains access to the world throughout his bodily intersection into the world, conceived as a shared horizon of symbolic meanings. Criticizing the applications of physiology, cybernetics and computer sciences to living systems, as explanatory models of life processes (perception, language, behavior), Merleau-Ponty describes the constitution of the biological body - in his determination of esthesiological-libidinal body - as being-for-others (meaning as foundation of the social and collective being). In this sense, reconceptualization of nature is a crucial step in order to understand how theensemble subject/world has historically developed in the form of embodiment. By this, according to Merleau-Ponty, the onto-phylogenetic development of an organism represents a pivotal step for the establishment of the lived body and expressive (perceptual/cultural) body. The project attempts to apply the ontology of nature of Merleau-Ponty to a contemporary ethic, anthropological and epistemological reflection on subjectivity, in order to offer a new model of human experience, of world and community. (AU)

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