The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary (Continuum Philosophy Dictionaries)

The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary (Continuum Philosophy Dictionaries)

Donald A. Landes

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1441176357

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) is one of the central figures of 20th-century Continental philosophy, and his work has been hugely influential in a wide range of fields. His writings engage in the study of perception, language, politics, aesthetics, history and ontology, and represent a rich and complex network of exciting ideas.

The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary provides the reader and student of Merleau-Ponty with all the tools necessary to engage with this key thinker: a comprehensive A to Z that provides summaries of all his major texts and articles, clear and straightforward explanations of his terminology and innovative concepts, and detailed discussions of the figures and philosophies that influenced his work. The book also includes a philosophical introduction, a chronology of Merleau-Ponty's life and works, and suggestions for further reading. This dictionary is the ideal reading and research companion for students at all levels.

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command despite understanding the request and being physically capable of the movement. Merleau-Ponty offers an existential analysis of apraxia, suggesting that since knowledge is intact, it must be a disturbance of motor intentionality, which reveals that “objects or space can be present to our knowledge without being present to our body” (PhP, 140). Aristotle’s illusion On your right hand, cross your middle finger over your index finger, then touch their point of intersection with the tip of a

Indeed, “to sleep” is not strictly speaking an action, but the event of a withdrawing of consciousness to a “pre-personal relation to the world” (206). Or again, the act of dreaming is also between activity and passivity, and Freud’s most important contribution is a recognition that there is a creative activity in the dream or in language that involves responding to a rich symbolism that both shapes the expression and is reshaped by it. In terms of memory, the past remains both immanent and

instance, sexuality is a dimension of every human act, and yet no human act is purely sexual. Double sensations My body has the “ambiguous organization” such that my two hands (for instance) can alternate between touching and touched. Merleau-Ponty rejects this notion as an attempt to save intellectualist psychology’s conception of the body (PhP, 95), yet the figure of touching/touched becomes increasingly central to his thought. École normale supérieure (est. 1794) [ENS] The ENS of Paris

neither is it an idea” (SB, 127). “Structure” is nothing less than “the joining of an idea and an existence which are indiscernible, the contingent arrangement by which materials begin to have meaning in our presence, intelligibility in the nascent state” (206–7). Nevertheless, Merleau-Ponty always maintained (following Gurwitsch) a certain critique of Gestalt psychology. For instance, he argues that Gestalt theorists (such as Koffka) ultimately retreat from the philosophical consequences of

where he exerted a significant influence on many young thinkers of Merleau-Ponty’s generation. Merleau-Ponty himself, who attended the neighboring Lycée Louis-le-Grand, is said to have clandestinely frequented Alain’s lectures. Alain is often associated with his teacher, Jules Lagneau, and a classical style of philosophical reflection known as reflective analysis. Alain’s two forms of political reflection, “reason” (intellectualist) vs. “understanding” (empiricist), shape the Preface of

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