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Ontology, metaphor and modern literature in Merleau-Ponty

Grant number: 21/06235-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Silvana de Souza Ramos
Grantee:Iracy Ferreira dos Santos Júnior
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/19880-4 - Power, conflict and freedom: Spinoza and the ways of Modern and Contemporary Political Philosophy about democracy, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):23/03706-3 - Merleau-Ponty reader of Proust: study of the relationship between philosophy and literature from the courses Le problème de la parole (1953-1954) and L'institution, la passivité (1954-1955), BE.EP.DR


This project intends to investigate the status and function that modern literature has in Merleau-Ponty's philosophical work. Literature that reveals itself as spontaneity, the indirect mode of meaning, which preserves the ambiguity and fecundity of a continuous exercise of creation and discovery of the sensible itself. For that, it will be demonstrated how, in the first four courses at the Collège de France (RULL, MSME, Pbp, IP), Merleau-Ponty's contact with the modern literature of Proust and other writers fosters the study of creative word, capable of expressing the sensible and assuming an ontological dimension, as well as from sedimenting the meaning of history and culture and instituting new symbolic matrices for the notion of truth and for intersubjective relations. It is hoped to state that this first period inaugurates the path that will be deepened by Merleau-Ponty in the writings Le Visible et l'Invisible and Notes de Cours, in an attempt to unravel an ontology of modern literature, which he finds in metaphor, in its convergence with poetics, the unfolding of an expressive power of language, and its task to unveil the chiasm between the visible and the invisible, between the writer and the sensible and the reversibility between silence and language. Finally, it is intended to defend that the protagonism of modern literature in Merleau-Ponty's thoughts reaffirms and supports the hypothesis that it is indispensable for the construction of his new ontology. (AU)

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