Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Antonio Calcagno


Establishing respectively the relevant concepts of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Hannah Arendt, this thesis links flesh and the inter esse as both bespeaking of a fruitful dialectical relationship wherein the new is born by making its visible appearance. This advent of the visible is made possible in differentiation from an implied invisibility, which for both authors determines a connection between nature and temporality; nature as related to the appearance of the visible as grounded upon temporal implications within the invisible. Commensurate temporal structures of the invisible between these authors demonstrate birth as institutional (the continuation of a historically contingent sensibility) and institutional events as synonymous with re-birth in their natal links to Arendtian action. Like the act of promise that initiates an institution and outlines what it will return to the world, birth satisfies the preconditions for action by establishing a spectacular point of intersection with nature’s cyclical rule of return. In this way, the child appears as a metaphor through/of that which his or her birth returns to the world, comparable to a cyclical structure analogous with nature’s own rule - the noēsis noēseōs of thought in its metaphorical outcomes.