We should not read Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception as an implicit or oblique ontology (as some have) but, rather, as a work of fundamental and explicit ontology continuous with The Structure of Behavior. Merleau-Ponty's masterwork presents an entirely new metaphysics built around the notion of Form: the body–world system comprises a plurality of forces striving for an equilibrium that is continually overcome. This new interpretation changes how we understand the living body and consciousness in Merleau-Ponty's work, as we see afresh how his new metaphysics displaces the older metaphysics built on the dualisms of subject/object and mind/body.

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