By Maurice Merleau-Ponty
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Extra resources for Adventures of the Dialectic. (Northwestern University studies in phenomenology & existential philosophy)
22 / ADVENTURES OF THE DIALECTIC our freedom the work of so many other freedoms. It assumes that we can clarify the choices of others through our own and ours through theirs, that we can rectify one by the other and finally arrive at the truth. There is no attitude more respectful, no objectivity more profound, than this claim of going to the very source of history. History is not an external god, a hidden reason of which we have only to record the conclusions. It is the metaphysical fact that the same life, our own, is played out both within us and outside us, in our present and in our past, and that the world is a system with several points of access, or, one might say, that we have fellow men.
In concluding our work, we try to bring this liquidation of the revolutionary dialectic to its conclusion. 2. Lukacs, Revai, Fogarasi, and Korsch. 1 / 'rhe Crisis of Understanding MAX WEBER'S FEELING toward freedom and truth was extremely exacting and distrustful. But he also knew that they appear only in certain cultures, provided that certain historical choices are made, that they are not fully realized there, and that they never assimilate the confused world from which they sprang. They have, therefore, no claim to divine right and no other justifications than those which they effectively bring to man, no other titles than those acquired in a struggle where they are in principle at a disadvantage, since they are unable to exhaust all possible means.
But history does not work according to a model; it is, in fact, the advent of meaning. To 18 / ADVENTURES OF THE DIALECTIC say that the elements of rationality were related to one another before crystallizing into a system is only a manner of saying that, taken up and developed by human intentions, they ought to confirm one another and form a whole. Just as, before the coming of the bourgeois enterprise, the elements which it joins did not belong to the same world, each must be said to be drawn by the others to develop in a way which is common to them all but which no one of them embodies.