‘Style’, ‘Flesh’, and ‘Styles of the Flesh’: A Phenomenology of the Transgender Body According to Butler and Merleau-Ponty


To say at birth, ‘It is a boy’ or ‘It is a girl’ is to say almost nothing at all. However, whoever says ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ speaks of a situated individual. The child is situated in a force field which at every moment represents a particular nuance of masculinity or femininity. In this field, the child is subjected to vectors that draw him in different directions [….] The possibility for revolution is explained by the fact that reality is a moving dynamic always susceptible to change.[1]
Almost everything that Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote about gender can be found in his Sorbonne lectures on child psychology and pedagogy. In most instances, he is writing—explicitly or implicitly—after Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949); against positivist notions of ‘feminine nature’, and holding ‘the history and the style of education’ up against an account of Margaret Mead’s anthropological examples of gender difference across an array of cultures.[2] That there was space for a social constructivist view of gender as ‘force field’ within what Gayle Salamon has described as Merleau-Ponty’s ‘fantastically ambiguous’ conception of the ‘sexual schema’ in his earlier Phenomenology of Perception (hereafter PP) should come as no surprise.[3] While much feminist critique of Merleau-Ponty has, understandably, read the ambiguity of his account of sexuality in the terms of the surface of its language (particularly in its recourse to the pathological case of Schneider) to be inherently heteronormative, my intention is to embrace Merleau-Ponty’s analysis for the very sake of this ambiguity.[4] Working in particular juncture with Salamon’s chapter, ‘The Sexual Schema: Transposition and Transgender in Phenomenology of Perception’, in which she reads ‘The Body as a Sexed Being’, this essay will eventually push Merleau-Pontian transgender studies into the yet more ambiguous territory of his later chapter, ‘the flesh—the chiasm’. I will pick up on the terminological overlap between Merleau-Ponty’s concepts of ‘style’ and the ‘flesh’ and Judith Butler’s view of gendered bodies as ‘styles of the flesh’ with three aims:

1) to break away from what Sara Heinämaa terms the ‘Butlerian impasse’, which ‘conflates the political concepts of agency and action with those of deviation and abnormality’;
2) to carve out a phenomenological space for the transgender body that is intersubjective yet does not rely upon sexual desire; and
3) to work towards an account of transgender being that neither allows for the pathologising gaze of scientism nor the transphobic rhetoric of sexual deviancy, but rather embraces ambiguity as a coherent gendered reality.[5]

Transgender Narratives

When Merleau-Ponty was appointed chair of child psychology at the Sorbonne in 1949, his field was at something of an identity juncture. ‘Psychology, by the mid-twentieth century’, writes Talia Welsh, was increasingly distancing itself from its philosophical roots and endeavouring to become an experimental science to be housed alongside biology and physics’.[6] Within the ever-more established field of sexology, such writers as Herbert von Krafft-Ebing and Havlock Ellis were coining a growing gamut of pathological terms for behaviours falling outside of the heterosexual matrix—‘bisexuality’, ‘eonism’, and so on—and medical technology had already enabled Magnus Hirschfeld to perform the first 'sexual reassignment' surgery in 1931.[7] Yet Merleau-Ponty’s project, at its base, was always more descriptive than categorical. In the foreword to PP, he writes of ‘Husserl’s first directive to phenomenology, in its early stages, to be a “descriptive psychology”, or to return to the “things themselves”’, being ‘from the start a foreswearing of science’.[8] Given that gender dysphoria remains classified as a ‘disorder’ under ‘dual role transvestism’ by the American Psychiatric Assoctiation, phenomenological description’s potential to approach the transgender body as an integrated being rather than an ailing object remains a timely pursuit.[9]

In the clichéd transgender narrative, there is a radical bifurcation mind and body, and a desperate reliance on the cogito. To say, ‘I was born into the wrong body’ is to say ‘I think I am a man, therefore I am a man’—a gesture which is, fundamentally, Cartesian. It is easy to sympathise with this intellectualist recourse. It affords me the agency to technologise the body over which I, at least without medical intervention, have seemingly little control. Beauvoir may write that one ‘becomes woman’, but there no sense in her depictions of the viscera of menstruation and childbirth that the alteration of biologically sexual destiny is an option. ‘There is no way of escape’, she writes.[10] However, rejecting any bifurcation of being—subject and object, or the Sartean for-itself or in-itself—is arguably Mearleau-Ponty’s fundamental project in PP. In his introduction, ‘Classical Prejudices and the Return to Phenomena’, he writes that ‘we are caught up in the world and we do not succeed in detaching ourselves from it in order to shift to the consciousness of the world’.[11] Empiricist accounts that define sensation as ‘an object for, not an element of consciousness’ do not reveal a reflective subject, he argues, but ‘conceal’ a being who is in fact always caught up in a constant and dynamic pre-reflective world of perception, ‘like a net whose knots progressively appear more clearly’.[12] Beyond mere seeing, hearing, and touching, the ‘primacy of perception’ locates being within an intersubjective horizon of intentionality, in which we are not receptor-machines that process sensory inputs, but dynamic bodies, simultaneously both subject and object, that reach out towards our surroundings as we are met by them. Within such a framework, a conception of transgender being that adheres to a dissonance between mind and body does not hold.

Other, more nuanced, approaches to gender variance tend to take a discursive, post-Foucauldian turn.[13] Concerned with culturally coded matrices of power, Henry S. Rubin writes that such analyses ‘hope to penetrate essences and demonstrate the fiction of [gender’s] fixed and naturalized character’.[14] Nevertheless, within such a narrative of discipline, the gendered being is once again an object, helplessly worked upon by hegemonic forces. Even Monique Wittig’s conception of ‘fictive sex’,(which pushes beyond Beauvoir’s sex-gender distinction to suggest that sex is ‘a specifically political use of the category of nature that serves the purposes of reproductive sexuality’) denies pre-reflective, gendered being.[15] To repeat the nature-culture binary in such a way is useful to the extent that it acknowledges the brute social coding of the ‘vectors’ of masculinity and femininity described by Merleau-Ponty in the Sorbonne lectures and their constitutive roles within Butler’s ‘heterosexual matrix’, but does nothing to address the question of why some people reject their assigned sex, or how the cultural work of fictive sex fails. 

Rubin writes that phenomenology already both ‘takes it as a matter of fact that essences are always already constituted in relationship to embodied subjectivity’ and recognises that ‘the world is renewed and potentially contested each time an individual upsurges into consciousness’.[16] Rather than reinscribing the binaries that discursive accounts of transgender subjectivity work within, therefore, phenomenological analysis has the capacity to think a pre-reflective gender that is neither captive to social mores nor a constant, deliberate protest against them. It navigates both, and yet does more. This is one way out of Heinämaa’s ‘Butlerian impasse’: the integration of agency into sheer, not-necessarily-radical being.

Gender and Others

To put pressure on an understanding of gender as purely social is not to deny the crucial role that others play in gender's making. Butler’s notion of the performative ‘doing’ of gender as an ‘incessant activity performed’, ‘with or for another’, hinges on intersubjective contracts that implicate bodies, identities, and collaborative horizons of expectation in equal measure.[17] Once again, however, transgender people lead Butler to an impasse that renders their agency deviant. To presume that routine misgendering at the hands of others, through deliberate or inadvertent identity violence, disrupts a trans person’s gender would be to render it ultimately unliveable, or ‘undo’ it.[18] To write transgender history, on the contrary, is to write of the triumph of coherent gendered realities in the face of social rejection.[19] Such a mode of being is almost the precise inverse of Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘being for others’, in which a subject sacrifices their being-for-itself to another’s freedom for the sake of a desire in ‘bad faith’.[20] Indeed, rather than forming a relationship based on how a person makes me feel when they look at me, I continue to live a transgender life in spite of their ‘look’. This could be deemed a solipsistic relocation of desire, wherein I am frustrated by the failure of the other to see me as I think myself in my individual consciousness.

Merleau-Ponty does not accept such a drastic alterity between self and other. In PP, intersubjectivity is most explicitly explored in terms of the ‘sexual schema’, through which bodily actions are accomplished in the world, not within consciousness.[21] Sexuality is not simply a valuable part of Merleau-Ponty’s argument because of its function within modes of desire, but because its carnal enaction with the ‘beloved’ renders the ‘relation between the embodied subject and his world’ far more explicit than an interaction with an inanimate object: ‘let us attempt to see how an object or being begins to exist for us through desire or love’, writes Merleau-Ponty, ‘and we will thereby understand more clearly how objects and beings can exist in general’.[22] In other words, desire is not as central to Mearleu-Ponty’s analysis as some queer and feminist readings have taken it to be.[23] Sexuality is, rather, a very good example of impulsive and tactile action in cooperation with another, with its own styles of ‘comprehension’.[24] Its structure, not of ‘peripheral automatic reflex’, but rather a flow of ‘intentionality that follows the general movement of existence and that weakens along with it’ holds just as true for the fist-fight as for the sex act.[25] As Salamon puts it, 
when I reach for the other, I do not feel my arm but an intensification of both the proximity and the absence of the one for whom I am reaching [….] My arm, unbent and reaching out, is no longer the location of my sensation but rather becomes the gesture through which I am toward the other [….] My body comes alive through being intentionally directed toward another’.[26]
The self and the other are still markedly distinct in this account, and it is this distinction—but not alienation—that invigorates intersubjective being, situating the body in a world with others. This is ‘not a relation between contradictory yet inseparable thoughts: it is the tension from one existence to another existence that negates it and without which it can nevertheless be sustained’.[27] The resilience of trans identities in the face of misgendering takes place through a vital tension that has also, violently, rendered genders unliveable, and demands defiance. 

The dual examples of intersubjective sex and fighting here are a neat exemplification of Jean Boudriallard’s insistence in ‘Forget Foucault’ that desire and power are fundamentally inseparable.[28] The power struggle in the exchange of misgendering is one of authenticity; the right to lay claim to the ‘perceptual truth’ of the other’s gender by performatively calling it by name.[29] While the more powerful voice, that of the status quo, always threatens domination, Salamon suggests that ‘phenomenology […] is a realm in which one’s own perceptions retain pride of place as a means of determining truth’.[30] The other may perceive me to be a different gender to that which I consider myself to be; if perception produces the relationships between subjects it also produces their meanings for us in terms of the horizon within which they present themselves. Existence is ‘indeterminate in itself, because of its fundamental structure […] insofar as existence is the taking up of a de facto situation’.[31] Existence can, nevertheless, ‘take up for itself’ and ‘transform a de facto situation’ through a movement of ‘transcendence’.[32] The experience of being both transgender and correctly gendered by another could be one such moment of ‘transcendence’, in which my reflexive desire for affirmation is confirmed by another subject, and we form a nodule of co-operative, mutual agreement in spite of the de facto situation of the sex I was assigned at birth and all of its attendant expectations.

Gender as Style

As we have seen, there is a coded relationship between my gender expression and way in which the other perceives it. The interrelation between my own and the others’ perception of my gender is indeed what constitutes the ‘force field’ of gendered expectation that will inflect my gendered expression in a self-perpetuating feedback loop of performative modes of being, which can nevertheless be ‘transcended’. Put in these terms, however, gender risks falling back into the strictly cultural; a re-inscription of the Foucauldian discourse. To turn back from here towards a phenomenological body-structure—the dynamic coherency between subjective and objective being—is to invoke Merleau-Ponty’s concept of ‘style’. Beginning with the observation that an object will retain its perceptual structure, in spite of the fact that the situated gaze can only look at it from one angle at a time, he writes that:
this unity is comparable to that of an individual whom I recognise in an irrecusable evidentness prior to having succeeded in giving the formula of his character, because he conserves the same style in all that he says and all of his behaviour.[33]
There is both an essence and a mutable identity at work in this cipher, and they are inseparable. There is no ‘substratum’ or ‘empty x’ that can be excavated by the stripping-away of properties. There is an ultimate oneness, and a particular ‘themness’, which that person exudes, and by which they are instantly recognisable. For Merleau-Ponty, this concept of ‘style’ is as true for people as it is for objects; I exude the style of myself, irreducible to my clothes, hair, and voice, just as ‘the fragility, rigidity, transparency, and crystalline sound of a glass expresses a single manner of being’.[34]

The style of the subject has the power to anchor some essence of them through all manner of fluctuations in gender presentation. A transgender person may change their hair, their name, or their manner of walking, talking, and dressing, and may undergo hormone replacement therapy and major surgical intervention—in short, may alter almost every gendered ‘property’ of their mode of being—yet retain some grain of their ‘style’, which I grasp in recognition as it reaches out towards me. The world, ‘a permanent being’ within which I ‘make all corrections to knowledge’, remains fundamentally the same because I constantly view it afresh. The tension between stasis and change coagulates this permanent world, like a beaver’s dam catching yet more sediment as it flows downstream. Perhaps it is coincidental that Butler sees ‘biological sex’, too, as
a sedimentation that over time has produced a set of corporeal styles which, in reified form, appear as the natural configuration of bodies into sexes existing in a binary relation to one another.[35]
This view of sex, as two congealed styles of the flesh, departs from Wittig’s ‘fictive sex’ in its attention to corporeality and temporality. Not a political fact, but a process ‘alternately embodied and deflected under duress’ while being ‘tenuously constituted in time’, sex as sedimented flesh is not the ‘project’ Wittig imagined it to be because it ‘conceals its genesis’.[36] While Butler’s invocation of ‘style’ here is not explicitly Merleau-Pontian, the resonance is striking. The underlying essences of masculinity and femininity, petrified at the base of a compulsory system of being, embed themselves deeper through a constant and reflexive process of self-correcting gendered ‘knowledge’. Crucially, however, these two, hegemonic sex-styles are not object. They are more abstract than that, simply because, as mere properties, they have only secondary bearing upon the style proper of the Merleau-Pontian subject. They are yet more sediment in the world’s knowledge-schema: simulacra fragile enough to be shifted.

Gender as Flesh and the Chiasm

If we acknowledge some form of pre-reflective gender that is both distinct to me and situated in the world with others, then we grant the trans subject a stable, temporally positioned gender that is nevertheless free enough to be mutable and leave my ‘style’ intact. This process of gendered being may change, but it is a coherent flow that always denies bodily objectification. To suggest a model for this gender of process and collaboration, I will finally turn to Merleau-Ponty’s last complete passage in The Visible and the Invisible: ‘The Intertwining—the Chiasm’, left incomplete at his death in 1961.[37] Above all, the chapter's project is to show that any way of carving up experience is undermined by the importance of the relationships between things. Self and other, subject and object, visible and invisible, and so on, are superseded by ‘a general manner of being’ which finds its ‘concrete emblem’ in what Merleau-Ponty terms the ‘flesh’ ('chair'), which in turn provides access back to both subjective and objective experience.[38] This conception sees the body as something ambiguously both (and more than) object and process: a crossing-over or ‘chiasm’. Using the tactile example of touching your own hand, he writes of the ‘initiation to and opening upon a tactile world’, which:
can happen only if my hand, while it is felt from within, is also accessible from without, itself tangible, for my other hand, for example, if it takes its place among the things it touches, is in a sense one of them, opens finally upon a tangible being of which it is also a part.[39]
The flesh is this entire condition. Merleau-Ponty uses the hand example as a directly accessible one, but the flesh need not always be tangible or visible: ‘my own body that is flesh, as well as the flesh of language, flesh of history, and the flesh of the world are in every instance both subject and object’, write Galen A. Johnson and Michael B. Smith.[40] My reconciling departure from Butler abandons the gender of the flesh for the flesh of gender. The flesh sees the body, through ‘its own ontogenesis’, ‘welding to one another the two outlines of which it is made, its two laps: the sensible mass it is and the mass of the sensible wherein it is born by segregation and upon which […] it remains open’.[41] As Salamon suggests, it offers a way of thinking embodiment that takes seriously ‘the productive capacities’ of its investments which is ‘not reducible to the material’ and ‘a product of relations between myself, other, and the world’.[42]

The flesh of gender is neither secured by the pre-reflexive body, nor by social thought alone. It ‘partakes of these things and yet cannot be described as a mixture of them’, instead coming into being through some pure process which is also matter (but only in the sense that matter is energy).[43] This inherent ambiguity is not incoherent. The transgender body can and does remain (and thrive) within a schema of both flesh and chiasm, which need not be ‘reassembled’ into ‘synthesis’.[44] The ‘ultimate truth’, writes Merleau-Ponty, lies in ‘these two aspects of reversibility’.[45] Through the flesh and the chiasm, a temporally situated mode of gendered being exists as one hand touches the other: both touching and touched, it ‘opens’ and its ‘style’ pours out. My me-ness (of which gender is the flesh) is a ‘style’ that both demands this schema and creates something above and beyond itself. It cannot be reduced. I remain intact.


Bibliography

Baldwin, Thomas. ‘Introduction to “The Intertwining—the Chiasm”’ in Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, ed. Thomas Baldwin,. Maurice Merleau-Ponty Basic Writings. London ; New York: Routledge, 2004: 247.

Baudrillard, Jean, and Sylvère. Lotringer. Forget Foucault. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2007.

Beauvoir, Simone De, Constance Borde, and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier. The Second Sex. New Edition / Translated by Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier with an Introduction by Shelia Rowbotham. ed. London, 2011.

Butler, Judith. ‘Sexual Ideology and Phenomenological Description’ in Allen, Jeffner, and Iris Marion Young. The Thinking Muse : Feminism and Modern French Philosophy. Midland Book ; MB502. Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press, 1989: 85-100.

Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. New York; London: Routledge, 2004.

Deleuze, Gilles, Félix Guattari, and Brian Massumi. A Thousand Plateaus : Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Paperback ed. Bloomsbury Revelations. London, 2013.

Halberstam, Jack (Judith). Female Masculinity. Durham: Duke University Press, 1998.

Hass, Lawrence. Merleau-Ponty's Philosophy. Studies in Continental Thought. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.

Heinämaa, Sara. ‘Sex, Gender, and Embodiment’ in Zahavi, Dan. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology. Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy. Oxford, 2015: 216-38.

Johnson, Galen A., and Michael B. Smith. Ontology and Alterity in Merleau-Ponty. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1990.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, ed. Talia Welsh. Child Psychology and Pedagogy: The Sorbonne Lectures 1949-1952. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology & Existential Philosophy. Evanston, Ill., 2010.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, trans. Donald A. Landes. Phenomenology of Perception. London, 2012.
Rubin, Henry S. "Phenomenology as Method in Trans Studies." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 4, no. 2 (1998): 263-281.

Salamon, Gayle. Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality. New York ; Chichester: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology. London: Routledge, 1989.

Stryker, Susan. Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution. Second ed. Berkeley, 2017.

Welsh, Talia. “The Developing Body: A Reading of Merleau-Ponty’s Conception of Women in the Sorbonne Lectures” in Weiss, Gail, ed.. Intertwinings: Interdisciplinary Encounters with Merleau-Ponty. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008: 48.



[1] Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, and Talia Welsh. Child Psychology and Pedagogy : The Sorbonne Lectures 1949-1952. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology & Existential Philosophy. Evanston, Ill., 2010: 381.
[2] Ibid, 377-78; Ibid, 398.
[3] Salamon, Gayle. Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality. New York ; Chichester: Columbia University Press, 2010: 30; Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, and Donald A. Landes. Phenomenology of Perception. London, 2012: 156-79.
[4] See in particular Judith Butler. ‘Sexual Ideology and Phenomenological Description’ in Allen, Jeffner, and Iris Marion Young. The Thinking Muse: Feminism and Modern French Philosophy. Midland Book ; MB502. Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press, 1989: 85-100.
[5] Sara Heinämaa. ‘Sex, Gender, and Embodiment’ in Zahavi, Dan. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology. Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy. Oxford, 2015: 233 fn28.
[6] Talia Welsh. “The Developing Body: A Reading of Merleau-Ponty’s Conception of Women in the Sorbonne Lectures” in Weiss, Gail, ed.. Intertwinings: Interdisciplinary Encounters with Merleau-Ponty. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008: 48.
[7] Judith Butler defines the ‘heterosexual matrix’ as the institutionalised stability of male-female desire in Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge Classics. New York: Routledge, 2006: 121; see Krafft-Ebing, Richard Von. Trans. Domino. Falls. Psychopathia Sexualis. London: Velvet, 1997 (first pub. 1886) and Ellis, Havelock. The Psychology of Sex. London: Heinemann Medical Books, 1933.
[8] Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, and Colin. Smith. Phenomenology of Perception. Routledge Classics. London ; New York: Routledge, 2002: viii.
[9] “Gender Dysphoria” in American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. Fifth ed. Washington, DC, 2013 [accessed 19 Dec. 2017]; See Stryker, Susan. Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution. Second ed. Berkeley, 2017: 22.
[10] Beauvoir, Simone De, Constance Borde, and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier. The Second Sex. New Edition / Translated by Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier with an Introduction by Shelia Rowbotham. ed. London, 2011: 59.
[11] Mearleau-Ponty 2012, 5.
[12]Ibid, 7; ibid, 12.
[13] See, for example, Stryker, Susan. Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution. Second ed. Berkeley, 2017.
[14] Rubin, Henry S. "Phenomenology as Method in Trans Studies." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 4, no. 2 (1998): 267.
[15] Monique Wittig. ‘The Trojan Horse’, iFeminist Issues, Fall, 1984: 47 cited in Butler 1990, 153.
[17] Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. New York; London: Routledge, 2004: 1.
[18] Ibid, 10.
[19] See, for example, the ‘border wars’ between trans men and butch lesbians in Jack (Judith) Halberstam. Female Masculinity. Durham: Duke University Press, 1998: 141ff.
[20] Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology. London: Routledge, 1989.
[21] Merleau-Ponty 2012, 172; ibid, 159.
[22] Ibid, 156.
[23] See Butler 1989, Hass, Lawrence. Merleau-Ponty's Philosophy. Studies in Continental Thought. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008: 97-8; Salamon 2010, 50ff.
[24] Merleau-Ponty 2012, 159.
[25] Ibid, 159.
[26] Salamon 2010, 53-4.
[27] Merleau-Ponty 2012, 171.
[28] Baudrillard, Jean, and Sylvère. Lotringer. Forget Foucault. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2007.
[29] Salamon 2010, 54-5.
[30] Ibid, 56.
[31] Merleau-Ponty 2012, 173.
[32] Ibid, 173.
[33] Ibid, 342.
[34] Ibid, 333.
[35] Butler 1990, 191. Emphasis my own.
[36] Ibid, 190-91.
[37] Thomas Baldwin. ‘Introduction to “The Intertwining—the Chiasm”’ in Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, ed. Thomas Baldwin,. Maurice Merleau-Ponty Basic Writings. London ; New York: Routledge, 2004: 247.
[38] Maurice Merleau-Ponty, ed. Thomas Baldwin. “The Intertwining—the Chiasm”’ in Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, ed. Thomas Baldwin,. Maurice Merleau-Ponty Basic Writings. London ; New York: Routledge, 2004: 249.
[39]Ibid, 251.
[40] Johnson, Galen A., and Michael B. Smith. Ontology and Alterity in Merleau-Ponty. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1990: xxi.
[41] Merleau-Ponty 2004, 253.
[42] Salamon 2010, 65.
[43] Ibid, 65.
[44] Merleau-Ponty 2004, 270.
[45] Ibid, 270.

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  6. This is a really brilliant and expansive essay—thank you. I love the image of touching one’s own hand as a paradigm of ‘temporally-situated’ me-ness, which involves being both subject and object (and more: sensed/sensing flesh). Do you mind if I cite it in my book? (Is there any way you’d prefer me to cite it?)

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