By Finn Bowring
A finished and scholarly exploration of the non-public and philosophical origins of André Gorz's paintings, this publication incorporates a detailed research of his early untranslated texts, in addition to serious dialogue of his courting to the paintings of Husserl, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Marx and Habermas. Reassessing pivotal notions comparable to the 'lifeworld' and the 'subject', it argues that Gorz has pioneered a person-centred social conception within which the rationale and that means of social critique is firmly rooted in people's lived adventure.
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Additional info for André Gorz and the Sartrean Legacy: Arguments for a Person-Centred Social Theory
Thus in what we shall call the world of the immediate, which delivers itself to our unreflective consciousness, we do not first appear to ourselves, to be thrown subsequently into enterprises. Our being is immediately ‘in situation’; that is, it arises in enterprises and knows itself first insofar as it is reflected in those enterprises. We discover ourselves then in a world peopled with demands, in the heart of projects ‘in the course of realisation’. I write. I am going to smoke. I have an appointment this evening with Pierre.
To speak of colour as being a discrete and ‘external’ property of the object is as meaningless as treating laughter as the exterior ‘expression’ of happiness. Equally artificial, in Merleau-Ponty’s view, is Sartre’s dichotomy between free consciousness and inert matter. While Sartre emphasised the way humans escape the grip of determinism by virtue of the nihilating power of consciousness, Merleau-Ponty argues that it is our embeddedness in the world, rather than our capacity to withdraw from it, which is the true theme and substance of human existence.
Yet the richness and complexity of perceptual experience, Merleau-Ponty points out, defies objectivist attempts to delineate and catalogue the constituent properties of things. To separate the colour of an object from our experience of its shape and texture, for example, or its weight from its size and visual density, or its properties from the spatial context in which it is apprehended, is to misrepresent our experience of it. To speak of colour as being a discrete and ‘external’ property of the object is as meaningless as treating laughter as the exterior ‘expression’ of happiness.