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The Relation of Merleau-Ponty and Blanchot to Derrida

Author(s): Chung Chin-Yi

Journal: LiBRI : Linguistic and Literary Broad Research and Innovation
ISSN 2068-0627

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2010;
Original page

In this paper I have examined the negative phenomenologies of Merleau-Ponty and Blanchot. Negative phenomenologies repress differance as the transcendental and the empirical are repetitions of the same through iterability.  I would argue, as I argued previously with Levinas and Ricoeur, that a negative phenomenology or a reversal of phenomenology repeats it rather than managing to escape it.This is because it still proceeds within its metaphysical vocabulary and ontological structure. Merleau-Ponty and Blanchot thus, in inverting and reversing phenomenology, only repeat it by borrowing entirely from its metaphysical vocabulary and structure. Derrida’s phenomenology in place, is a meta-phenomenology in discovering the origin of phenomenology as differance, or the difference between philosophy and non-philosophy, transcendental and empirical. Derrida, as I have argued in the previous chapter on Levinas and Ricoeur, discovers the condition of possibility for phenomenology as the quasi-transcendental, or the interval between the transcendental and empirical which conditions phenomenology in its entirety. The transcendental and empirical are paradoxically identical and non-identical because the difference translates into sameness. The trace, which distinguishes the transcendental and empirical, translates into a difference which is paradoxically not a difference but a sameness. As this paper has argued, the transcendental and empirical distinction is an illusion.

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