Ark of the Possible

Ark of the Possible : The Animal World in Merleau-Ponty

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In his uncompleted last work, The Visible and the Invisible, Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote of the thesis of "interanimality," a project that was to "make explicit" the connections between humans and other creatures. David Dillard-Wright uses the suggestions in the Working Notes to re-read Merleau-Ponty's textual corpus through the lens of animality. The "wild meanings" that result suggest new directions for philosophical anthropology as well as environmental ethics and animal philosophy. The fact that humans know the world through a fleshly engagement with other animals and non-sentient entities means that reason is unseated from its throne as the ruling attribute of human nature and that consciousness can no longer be viewed as something interior to an individual self. The human cultural world is constituted through contact with extra-human nature, such that everything held to be distinctively human traces its origins back to the Earth, the source of human more

Product details

  • Hardback | 130 pages
  • 147.32 x 228.6 x 17.78mm | 340.19g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739129376
  • 9780739129371

About David B. Dillard-Wright

David B. Dillard-Wright is assistant professor of philosophy at The University of South Carolina more

Review quote

Ark of the Possible knits together the philosophic traditions of phenomenology and pragmatism to weave a wonderful tapestry of intellectual reflection on animals, nature, and humankind. Dillard-Wright bridges the oft-contested divide between inter-species morality and environmental ethics, and what's more he develops a profound exploration of animality into a full-blown philosophy of life and world. Students of animal studies will find his essay an enlightening enquiry indeed. -- Ralph R. Acampora, Hofstra University Adding to the burgeoning literature on animal issues from the tradition of Continental thought, Dillard-Wright provides a careful exegesis and innovative extension of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of the lived-body/lived- world. Common to humans and other animals, bodily knowledge of the immediately given sense of our physical capabilities and vulnerability provides the ground of a proto-ethic that encompasses the treatment of individual animals and species preservation. 'When species disappear, words disappear, worlds disappear.' Individuals suffer and we are all impoverished. -- Kenneth Shapiro, Animals and Society Instituteshow more

Table of contents

Part 1 Introduction: Imagining Animals Chapter 2 1. God is World: Merleau-Ponty's Implicit Theology Chapter 3 2. The Animal World in Merleau-Ponty Chapter 4 3. Habits of the World: Phenomenological Pragmatism as the Basis for an Animal Ethic Chapter 5 4. Thinking Across Species Boundaries: General Sociality and Embodied Meaning Chapter 6 5. Ark of the Possible: The Earth as Ground in Merleau-Ponty Part 7 Conclusion: A Proto-Ethics of Incarnationshow more