Phenomenological Reviews

Series | Book | Chapter


Individuation, affectivity and the world

reframing operative intentionality (Merleau-Ponty)

Élodie Boublil(University of Cologne)

pp. 271-290


In Indirect Language and the Voices of Silence, Merleau-Ponty draws on Malraux's theory, developed in Le Musée Imaginaire and Les Voix du Silence, according to which modern art is the achievement of subjectivity's creative powers in its ability to achieve the metamorphosis of the world through her works. This essay aims to show that the idea of "coherent deformation" illustrates Merleau-Ponty's attempt to rethink subjectivity's individuation as a creative yet ontological pattern that recasts the dynamics of operative intentionality and its expressions. I show that in response to Malraux, Merleau-Ponty works out a diacritical sense of individuation as style that conveys existential possibilities. This conception proposes a "phenomenology from within" that relies on literary, psychoanalytic and artistic works to exhibit the metamorphosis of the subject in and through her world.

Publication details

Published in:

Apostolescu Iulian (2020) The subject(s) of phenomenology: rereading Husserl. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 271-290

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-29357-4_15

Full citation:

Boublil Élodie (2020) „Individuation, affectivity and the world: reframing operative intentionality (Merleau-Ponty)“, In: I. Apostolescu (ed.), The subject(s) of phenomenology, Dordrecht, Springer, 271–290.