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Università di Copenhagen
In this paper, I attend to the ontological shift in Merleau-Ponty’s later writing and suggest that this conceptual turn opens the space for questions of the latent sense of the sensible foreclosed by dualist accounts and propositional theories of meaning. By attending to the Nature Lectures, I claim that there is a sens [meaning and orientation] of nature whose regulatory principle ought to be found in nature itself. This is to say that there is a normativity of nature that, albeit not exclusive of sociocultural-linguistic norms, is irreducible to them. As I argue, this normativity is a “transspatializing and transtemporalizing”: it transverses its carnal manifestations, thereby inaugurating and becoming traceable within their materialization while remaining invisible in its excess or poietic renewing. I conclude by attending to the question of the “latent sense” of nature, suggesting that this sense is not conceptual or propositional, but intuitive as in the sense of right and left, a sense that is distributed across spatio-temporal individuals and emerges via the play of yet-to-be-determined incarnate manifestations.
Dans cet article, j’aborde le tournant ontologique du dernier Merleau-Ponty et je suggère qu’il implique une interrogation sur le sens latent du sensible, exclu par les approches dualistes ainsi que par les théories propositionnelles de la signification. En analysant les cours sur la Nature, je vise à montrer qu’il y a un sens [signification et direction] de la nature, dont le principe régulateur est à chercher dans la nature elle-même. Cela revient à dire qu’il y a une normativité de la nature qui, bien qu’elle n’exclue pas les normes socio-culturelles linguistiques, ne leur est pas pour autant réductible. Une telle normativité est « trans-spatiale et trans-temporelle » : elle traverse ses manifestations charnelles, en inaugurant ainsi et en devenant traçable dans ses matérialisations, tout en demeurant invisible dans son excès et dans son renouvellement poïétique. Je termine en abordant la question du « sens latent » de la nature, en suggérant que ce sens n’est ni conceptuel ni propositionnel, mais intuitif, tout comme l’est le sens de la droite et de la gauche, c’est-à-dire un sens qui est distribué à travers les individus spatio-temporels et qui émerge dans le jeu des manifestations incarnées encore-à-déterminer.