The Interwoven Fabric Of Humanity: A Merleau-Pontian Ethics (thesis)
AbstractGiven this phenomenological approach to metaphysics, we return to the overriding question of this paper: Based on Merleau-Ponty’s account of humanity, how are human beings obligated to act towards one another? I will move slowly, cautiously towards an answer to this question. In the first section, I will explore the reality of the world that emerges from Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology. Once I have sketched this account, I will move toward a critically important metaphysical account of the Other in the second section. In section three, I will explore a route by which we might link this particular metaphysical account to an ethical one. Finally, in the fourth and fifth sections of the paper, I will explore precisely what sort of ethical system Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology demands. Ultimately, I will assert that humanity’s complex and dynamic existence as described by Merleau-Ponty demands an ethics to match; that which is right is no more static than that which is real, so our ethical principles must be flexible enough to adapt to the changing conditions of humanity while remaining stringent enough to be valuable in the search for what is moral. [From the Introduction]
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]
Nathaniel Wilson Reisinger is a member of the Class of 2013 of Washington and Lee University.