Temporality and embodied self-presence

James Mensch

pp. 183-195

As Merleau-Ponty points out, our sense of time is that of passage. This demands that we think of time both as extended—that is, as including the past and the future—and as now, the latter being conceived as the point of expiration. The difficulty comes when try to think these separately. To consider time as extended is to think of it in terms of space—i.e., in terms of the “parts outside of parts” definitive of space. The simultaneous existence of such parts seems to exclude expiration. When, however, we consider time in terms of expiration, we face the problem of when the now expires. It cannot cease to exist in itself, since then it existed. It also cannot cease in another now, since then it did not exist. Such difficulties indicate that something is missing—something presupposed by both, which would allow us to think of expiration and temporal extension together. In this article, I argue that what is missing is the body. Its self-presence is behind these two aspects of time.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11007-020-09494-w

Full citation:

Mensch, J. (2020). Temporality and embodied self-presence. Continental Philosophy Review 53 (2), pp. 183-195.

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