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L'absente de tous bouquets: linguistic negativity in Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty

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posted on 2022-03-29, 01:19 authored by Berndt Michael Sellheim
What is our opening upon the world? What is the relationship between this opening - its tactility, depth and reach - and the language with which we seek to express it? Poetry and philosophy are frequently considered in opposition, but here, pushing up against the limits and possibilities of expression, in the face of 'raw' perception, they speak of a common opening upon experience. Both disciplines begin in a sense of wonder that we find ourselves in a meaningful world, and each takes the exploration of that 'meaning' to be the first question of existence. Their divergence, and the manifold paths that proliferate within each individual discipline, arrives in how this question is unfolded and engaged. -- Although the opposition between the disciplines is an ancient one, one that continues to this day, some theorists do attempt to merge these genres, and in fact see the possibilities of exploring this phenomenological opening as existing only within the coupling of the two. This thesis will look at how such a coupling is theorised in Jena Romanticism, and examine the way in which it is formulated and executed in two of the 20th Century's most original and important thinkers, Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The central question is why, in the responses offered by both these philosophers, modes of 'indirect' expression are frequently privileged over more 'direct' logico-discursive language. The inquiry will be engaged thematically and in the linguistic form of the work itself.


Alternative Title

Linguistic negativity in Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Table of Contents

Romantic origins -- Poetic revelation in German romanticism -- Negative foundations in Martin Heidegger -- Heidegger and poetic revelation - artwork, thought and word -- Merleau-Ponty: silence and Être Sauvage -- Merleau-Ponty and the silence of nature -- The poetic: confluence of word and flesh.


April 2008 Bibliography: p. 289-300

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy, Dept. of Philosophy

Department, Centre or School

Department of Philosophy

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Jean-Philippe Deranty

Additional Supervisor 1

Robert Sinnerbrink


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Berndt Michael Sellheim 2009. This thesis was digitised for the purposes of Document Delivery. Macquarie University ResearchOnline attempted to locate the author but where this has not been possible; we are making available, open access, the thesis which may be used for the purposes of private research and study. If you have any enquiries or issues regarding this work being made available please contact Macquarie University ResearchOnline - If you wish to access the complete thesis, on receipt of a Document Supply Request, placed with Macquarie University Library by another library, we will consider supplying a copy of this thesis. For more information on Document Supply, please contact




301 p

Former Identifiers

mq:20463 1674088