ABSTRACT

This article examines Merleau-Ponty's proposal to articulate a new ontology by returning to the pre-Socratic idea of φύσις and following a reference he makes to Heraclitus's fragment B52. Interestingly, this fragment refers to αἰών, “eternity,” as a child at play. Against the Laplacean idea that nature is the necessary and calculable unfolding of causes and effects, and anticipating what Deleuze will outline in The Logic of Sense, Merleau-Ponty suggests that φύσις—understood in terms of the temporal dis-order of αἰών rather than the Aristotelian order of χρόνος—is an ideal game without rules, what Nietzsche describes as an “innocent caprice.”

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