By John Perry
It is a checklist of conversations of Gretchen Weirob, a instructor of philosophy at a small Midwestern
college, and of her pals. The conversations came about in her sanatorium room at the 3 nights
before she died from accidents sustained in a motorbike twist of fate. Sam Miller is a chaplain and a long-
time good friend of Weirob’s; Dave Cohen is a former scholar of hers.
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Extra info for A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality
Finally, Merleau-Ponty investigates the corporeal significance of indeterminacy through the phenomenon of reversibility: a phenomenon that is revealed through the constant, mutual interaction between the flesh that is my body and the flesh that is the world. Indeterminacy as Ambiguity “From the very beginning,” Beauvoir asserts in The Ethics of Ambiguity, “existentialism defined itself as a philosophy of ambiguity” (Beauvoir 1976: 9). This ambiguity she traces back to Kierkegaard and his opposition to the Hegelian dialectic, which ultimately surpasses ambiguity through the Aufhebung reconciling thesis and antithesis.
The second I step into a car, however, the situation changes, and I am the one angrily wondering what the hell those people are doing calmly crossing, crossing, crossing the street long after my light has turned green and they no longer have the right of way. 24 · Figuring the Ground Just as the phenomenal field is capable of displaying a high degree of continuity even as it changes over time and across space, “ordinary” experience itself is characterized by continuity in the contexts an individual brings to different situations; as Merleau-Ponty so often notes, it is the continuity (or lack of continuity) of the world and of human bodies as physical entities within the world that is responsible for the unity (or lack of unity) one finds within one’s daily life.
Although I sincerely doubt that Husserl would have been comfortable with this evaluation of his project, what Camus is suggesting here is that a primary contribution Husserl has made to the phenomenological and existentialist traditions has been to open up for investigation a range of phenomena that are, on principle, incapable of being articulated fully. ” Although I would argue that Husserl does not posit such a poignant conflict between the phenomena and the human effort to grasp their essences, the grounds for such a reading of Husserl are established in part through Husserl’s emphasis on the “experience-fringe,” or the indeterminate features of each experience that are not deliberately focused on and whose presence leads Husserl to formulate “the eidetically valid and self-evident proposition, that no concrete experience can pass as independent in the full sense of the term” (Husserl 1982: 221).
A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality by John Perry