Milla Rantala


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

Project Description:
I investigate the ethical dimensions 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 clarify the ethically relevant aspects of this relation. For this purpose, I will inquire into 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 Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological ontology of difference and sameness offers a viable ground for rethinking the ethics of the self-other relationship. Finally, in so far as this hypothesis turns out tenable, I plan to apply the acquired setting of phenomenological ethics to the investigation of the experiences of social normalization and marginalization.

Recent Publications:

  • "Poliittisia tunteita inhosta häpeään ja vihaan". Niin&Näin 4/2018. ("Political Emotions from Disgust to Shame and Hatred". Finnish philosophical journal Niin&Näin 4/2018.)
  • Ilmaisun ihme: Merleau-Pontyn fenomenologisen metodin ontologiset seuraukset” (The Miracle of Expression: The Ontological Consequences of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenological Method”) completed in 2015.

Upcoming Conference Talks:

  • Double Sensation and Reversibility". Doctoral Seminar 8.5.2019, Jyväskylä, Finland. 
  • Merleau-Ponty's Concept of Double Sensation". Phenomenology Seminar 11.4.2019, Helsinki, Finland.
  • 5.12. Phenomenology Research Seminar, Helsinki: 
    "The Idea of a Body-Subject in Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception"
  • 25.5.2018 Phenomenology Research Seminar, Helsinki:
    "Merleau-Ponty’s Concept of Embodied Intentionality (arc intentionnel) in the Phénoménologie de la Perception"