Milla Rantala


MA, Theoretical Philosophy
Project Researcher
email: milla.m.rantala at gmail.com

Project Description:
I investigate the ethical implications of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s transcendental phenomenological project in my doctoral dissertation titled ”The Ethical Implications of Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology: The Problem of Difference and Sameness” (working title). My main aim is to explicate Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of the fundamental ontological and constitutive relationship between the self and the other and to investigate its ethically relevant dimensions. For this purpose, I will inquire onto Merleau-Ponty’s concepts of the body subject (corps propre), the lived body (corps vécu), intercorporeality (intercorporéité), flesh (chair) and chiasm (chiasme) as well as his theory of expression. My hypothesis is, that the phenomenological ontology of difference and sameness explicated by Merleau-Ponty in his later thinking offers a viable ground for developing a phenomenological model for an ethical relationship between the self and the other. Finally, in so far as my hypothesis of the ethical implications of Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy turns out tenable, I plan to apply the acquired setting of phenomenological ethics to the investigation of experiences liable to social normalization and marginalization, such as gender and sexual difference.

Recent Publications:

  • Ilmaisun ihme: Merleau-Pontyn fenomenologisen metodin ontologiset seuraukset” (The Miracle of Expression: The Ontological Consequences of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenological Method”) completed in 2015.