cover of book

Topologies of the Flesh: A Multidimensional Exploration of the Lifeworld
by Steven M. Rosen and Steven M. Rosen
Ohio University Press, 2006
eISBN: 978-0-8214-4216-6 | Cloth: 978-0-8214-1676-1
Library of Congress Classification B829.5.R67 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 142.7


The concept of “flesh” in philosophical terms derives from the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. This was the word he used to name the concrete realm of sentient bodies and life processes that has been eclipsed by the abstractions of science, technology, and modern culture. Topology, to conventional understanding, is the branch of mathematics that concerns itself with the properties of geometric figures that stay the same when the figures are stretched or deformed.

Topologies of the Flesh is an original blend of continental thought and mathematical imagination. Steven M. Rosen opens up a new area of philosophical inquiry: topological phenomenology. Through his unique application of qualitative mathematics, he extends the approaches of Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger so as to offer a detailed exploration of previously uncharted dimensions of human experience and the natural world.

Rosen’s unprecedented marriage of topology and phenomenology is motivated by the desire to help overcome the pervasive dualism of contemporary philosophy and Western culture at large. To carry this to completion, he must address his own dualistic stance as author. Challenging the author’s traditional posture of detachment and anonymity, Rosen makes his presence vividly felt in his final chapter, and his philosophical analysis is transformed into a living reality.

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