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Disclosing the WorldOn the Phenomenology of Language$
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Andrew Inkpin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262033916

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262033916.001.0001

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Language as the Expression of Lived Sense

Language as the Expression of Lived Sense

(p.95) 4 Language as the Expression of Lived Sense
Disclosing the World

Andrew Inkpin

The MIT Press

This chapter uses Merleau-Ponty’s conception of language as an embodied expressive behavior to begin filling out the Heideggerian framework. It shows that conceiving language as the expression of lived sense, linked with both a biological body and the perspective of speakers’ experience of language, allows Merleau-Ponty to specify how language connects us intimately with the world and plays a constitutive role in formulating thoughts. It then argues that the phenomenon of creative expression – which Merleau-Ponty treats as paradigmatic – should be seen as illuminating certain kinds of language use rather than being explanatorily primary in the general way Merleau-Ponty’s own discussions suggest. Finally, the chapter examines the contrast implied by Merleau-Ponty’s notion of ‘indirect’ sense and sets out how his focus on embodiment complements Heidegger’s overall picture of language.

Keywords:   Merleau-Ponty, embodiment, expression, lived sense, constitutive role, experience of language, creative expression, indirect sense, Heideggerian framework

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