Being in the Present Age
The three noted thinkers selected for discussion here are Carl Gustave Jung, Emmanuel Levinas, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, all of whom were more or less contemporaries. These thinkers bring to ontology very different perspectives than those of conventional metaphysics. Equally versed in psychiatry, religion, metaphysics, the mystical traditions of the East and the West, and the human sciences in general, Jung was one of the most interesting and versatile thinkers of the twentieth century. From a pedagogic point of view, the lessons of his researches prepare the serious student for a brush with the archetypal currents whose intersectional nodes appear to us as the personality, and by means of which we regulate our relations with the what-is. Coming to Levinas, the philosopher Jacques Derrida once said that his work was an ethics of ethics. Levinas himself spoke of ethics as “first philosophy.” But it is precisely because he re-prioritizes and gives ethics a higher prominence than all other avenues of considering metaphysics that Levinas becomes important in the educational context. Finally, Merleau-Ponty was one of the most influential philosophers of post-war France. His later work influenced thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and others of the post-structuralist generation. The ontology of perception was the overwhelming concern of Merleau-Ponty’s work for which he used Husserlian phenomenology as his primary framework.
- Carl Jung, Collected Works, Vol. 9 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960).Google Scholar
- Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority (Transl.) Alphonso Lingis (Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 1979).Google Scholar
- Hippolytus, Refutation of all Heresies (Charleston: Nabu Press, 2012).Google Scholar
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (New York: Routledge, 1945).Google Scholar
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible (Transl.) Alphonso Lingis (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968).Google Scholar
- Stacy Carol Bautista, “Ontology in Emmanuel Levinas’s Philosophy” (PhD diss., Loyola University Chicago, 2012). http://ecommons.luc.edu/luc_diss_6mos/7.