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The Flesh and the Thinking of the Visual Today - Mauro Carbone

Speaker: Mauro Carbone (Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 / Institut Universitaire de France)

Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Time: 5:00 pm

Location: Taylor Hall 203



Title: The Flesh and the Thinking of the Visual Today 

Series Title: Philosopher’s Holiday Lecture Series

Description of Lecture: Merleau-Ponty’s Notion of Flesh and the Thinking of the Visual Today

The present paper is based on a double conviction. On the one hand, characterizing Merleau-Ponty’s notion of “flesh” by that of “Visibility” allows us to avoid most misunderstandings related to the interpretation of the first. On the other, it allowed Merleau-Ponty himself to elaborate extremely innovative ontological notions, which can help us to consider philosophically our new relationship to images produced by the digital revolution. Actually, since the 1990s, an “iconic (or pictorial) turn” was evoked in our culture, imposing a renewed analysis of the contemporary status of images. It seems to me that precisely the later Merleau-Ponty’s interrogation of “Visibility” is deeply convergent with what this “iconic turn” wills to explore and understand.

Bio: Mauro Carbone is Professor of Aesthetics at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France, and Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He received his Ph.D. in 1990 at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, with a dissertation awarded by the Royal Academy of Belgium. A revised and enlarged edition of this work is available in French under the title La visibilité de l’invisible: Merleau-Ponty entre Cézanne et Proust (Hildesheim: Olms, 2001). An English collection of his essays, entitled The Thinking of the Sensible: Merleau-Ponty’s A-Philosophy, is published by Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL: 2004).

He is the founder and a co-editor of the journal Chiasmi International. Trilingual Studies concerning Merleau-Ponty’s Thought.

He is also the author of several volumes dealing with the relations between French Phenomenology and Post-Structuralist philosophy. Among them, An unprecedented Deformation: Marcel Proust and the Sensible Ideas (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2010). His most recent book is under press in English under the title The Flesh of Images: Merleau-Ponty Between Painting and Cinema  (State University of New York Press, forthcoming October 2015).