Phenomenology or Deconstruction? challenges traditional understandings of the relationship between phenomenology and deconstruction through new readings of the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Paul RicA"ur and Jean-Luc Nancy. A constant dialogue with Jacques Derrida's engagement with phenomenological themes provides the impetus to establishing a new understanding of 'being' and 'presence' that exposes significant blindspots inherent in traditional readings of both phenomenology and deconstruction. In reproducing neither a stock phenomenological reaction to deconstruction nor the routine deconstructive reading of phenomenology, Christopher Watkin provides a fresh assessment of the possibilities for the future of phenomenology, along with a new reading of the deconstructive legacy. Through detailed studies of the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, RicA"ur and Nancy, he shows how a phenomenological tradition much wider and richer than Husserlian or Heideggerean thought alone can take account of Derrida's critique of ontology and yet still hold a commitment to the ontological.
This new reading of being and presence fundamentally re-draws our understanding of the relation of deconstruction and phenomenology, and provides the first sustained discussion of the possibilities and problems for any future 'deconstructive phenomenology'.
Christopher Watkin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of French at Monash University. In 2009 he published Phenomenology or Deconstruction? The Question of Ontology in Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Paul RicA"ur and Jean-Luc Nancy with Edinburgh University Press. His next project will consider the notion of equality in contemporary French thought.
Acknowledgements; List of Abbreviations; Introduction: The Problem of Relation; 1. Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Perception and Ontology; 2. Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Language and Ontology; 3. Paul RicA"ur: Selfhood and Ontology; 4. Paul RicA"ur: Justice and Ontology; 5. Jean-Luc Nancy: Sense and Ontology; 6. Jean-Luc Nancy: Plurality and Ontology; Conclusion: Ontology and 'Deconstructive Phenomenology'; Bibliography; Index.