Phenomenology and difference: the body, architecture and race
Weate, Jeremy (1998) Phenomenology and difference: the body, architecture and race. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Weate_1998.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1362727~S9
The aim of the thesis is to consider the position of phenomenology in contemporary thought in order to argue that only on its terms can a political ontology of difference be thought. To inaugurate this project I being by questioning Heidegger's relation to phenomenology. I take issue with the way that Heidegger privileges time over space in "Being and Time". In this way, the task of the thesis is clarified as the need to elaborate a spatio-temporal phenomenology. After re-situating Heidegger's failure in this respect within a Kantian background, I suggest that the phenomenological grounding of difference must work through the body. I contend that the body is the ontological site of both the subject and the object. I use Whitehead and Merleau-Ponty to explore the ramifications of this thesis. I suggest first of all that architecture should be grounded ontologically in the body, and as such avoids being a 'master discourse'. Secondly, by theorising the body and world as reciprocally transformative, my reading of Merleau-Ponty emphasises the ways in which his thinking opens up a phenomenology of embodied difference.
It is on the basis of these themes that I develop this thinking in the direction of race, exploring the dialectics of visibility and invisibility in the work of Frantz Fanon and James Baldwin. I argue that embodied difference attests to variations in the agent's freedom to act in the world. If freedom is understood through Merleau-Ponty as being the embodied ground of historicity, we must ask after unfreedom. I suggest that the "flesh" ontology of a pre-thetic community should be rethought as a regulative ideal, the ideal of a justice that can never be given. In this light, phenomenology becomes as much as poetics. Beyond being though of as conservative, phenomenology henceforth unleashes the possibility of thinking a transformative embodied agency.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976, Whitehead, Alfred North, 1861-1947, Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 1908-1961, Phenomenology, Philosophy, Modern -- 20th century, Ontology|
|Official Date:||June 1998|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Philosophy|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Benjamin, Andrew E.|
|Sponsors:||British Academy (BA)|
|Format of File:|
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