Phenomenological Reviews

Book | Chapter


The ethical interworld

Anya Daly

pp. 281-303


Discrimination, brutality and ethical failure are vividly realized for us in the characterization of Shylock, who both inspires our pity and incites our repugnance. Like many now involved in the unending cycle of wars, atrocities and ethical failures ravaging our world, Shylock is both the victim and perpetrator. Why within the general understanding of ourselves, others and the world are these failures intractable and inevitably tragic? This is one of the questions I posed in the Introduction to this book. I further proposed that in order to address such ethical failures at the interpersonal level and on the world stage, an evolution in our perception would be necessary. We need to evolve beyond our distorted perception which persists in seeing others as inherently independent, radically separate entities to a perception that recognizes our deep commonalities and interdependencies. I have proposed that Merleau-Ponty's implicit ethics may offer a way forward. Merleau-Ponty's non-dualist ontology conjoined with the interrogations of primary empathy have revealed a primordial level of ethical susceptibility, thus throwing new light on ethical questions and the whole domain of ethical debate. Let us retrace some of the key claims and arguments I have presented in elaborating Merleau-Ponty's ethics of intersubjectivity.

Publication details

Published in:

Daly Anya (2016) Merleau-Ponty and the ethics of intersubjectivity. New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Pages: 281-303

DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-52744-8_9

Full citation:

Daly Anya (2016) The ethical interworld, In: Merleau-Ponty and the ethics of intersubjectivity, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 281–303.