“A past which has never been”. Unveiling Merleau-Ponty’s Accountability of the Mythological Heritage of Perception
A Modern nekyia?
This paper focuses on Merleau-Ponty’s interpretation of the mythological account of knowledge as a cumulative source of temporal sedimentation. In the following lines, I argue Merleau-Ponty holds both a negative and, most importantly, a positive opinion concerning what has to be considered as ʻmythicalʼ: all contents of information and reflection referring to an ʻunreflectiveʼ past. Below, in the third paragraph, I summarise the major features the ʻinstitutionalʼ ontology defends: I also highlight the Husserlian influence on Merleau-Ponty’s thought. In the fourth section of this paper, I make a comparison between the most relevant outcomes of the previous paragraphs and Stigler’s conception of tertiary retention: in so doing, I emphasise the unique role the faculty of ʻwritingʼ has in the theory of sedimentation. Finally, I conclude that ʻpastʼ as a traditional, mythical foundation is still of service for showing the way the future shall forward.
Keywords: Response • Memory • Activation • Myth • Sedimentation