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Can Merleau-Ponty's Notion of 'Flesh' Inform or even Transform Environmental Thinking?

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Reference to Merleau-Ponty's ideas surfaces in environmental thinking from time to time. This paper examines whether, and in what way, his ideas could be helpful to that thinking. In order to arrive at a conclusion I examine in detail and attempt to clarify the notions of 'Flesh' and 'Earth' in order to see if they can carry the meanings that commentators sometimes attribute to them. With a clearer outline of what he was saying in place, I suggest that the new ontology that Merleau-Ponty introduces could help to transform environmental thinking, but that careful argumentation is required to show this.
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Keywords: Flesh; Merleau-Ponty; eco-phenomenology; subject-object

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-08-01

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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