Maurice Merleau-Ponty

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Merleau-Ponty, Maurice


Born Mar. 14, 1908, in Rochefort-sur-Mer; died May 4, 1961, in Paris. French idealist philosopher of the phenomenological school; some of MerleauPonty’s views had much in common with existentialism.

Merleau-Ponty studied philosophy at the Ecole Normale Superieure, where he worked closely with J.-P. Sartre (breaking with him in 1953) and with J. Hippolyte. He was also influenced by Gestalt psychology. In 1945, Merleau-Ponty became a professor at the University of Lyon and later at the Sorbonne (1949) and at the College de France (1952).

While working on the unpublished writings of E. Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty arrived at a broader interpretation of intentionality as a characteristic not only of consciousness but of man’s whole relation to the world. Accordingly, he introduced the concept of preconscious (bodily) existence, which is sentient, because it is open to the world and not shut up in itself as a thing is. All of man’s being is the realization and revelation of his existence, which is accomplished by the infinite dialogue of the subject with the world. The subject and the world are the two poles of a single phenomenal field, in which the subject is always situationally bound and therefore can never be completely revealed and known.

In some of his works, Merleau-Ponty was critical of communism and attacked dialectical materialism.


Phénoménologie de la perception. Paris, 1945.
Humanisme et terreur: Essai sur le problème communiste. Paris, 1947.
Sens et nonsens. Paris, 1948.
Les Aventures de la dialectique, 16th ed. Paris, 1955.
Signes. Paris, 1960.
Eloge de la philosophic et autres essais. Paris, 1965.
La Structure du comportement, 6th ed. Paris, 1967.
La Prose du monde. Paris, 1969.
Le Visible et /’invisible. Paris, 1971.


Korolev, E. E. “Zlokliucheniia antimarksizma.” Voprosy filosofii, no. 4, 1956.
Kuznetsov, V. N. Frantsuzskaia burzhuaznaia filosofiia 20 v. Moscow, 1970. Pages 285–94.
De Waelhens, P. A. Une Philosophic de rambigui’te, 3rd ed. Paris, 1968.
Les Temps modernes, 1961, vol. 17, nos. 184–85.
Kwant, R. C. The Phenomenological Philosophy of Merleau-Ponty. Pittsburgh, 1963.
Kwant, R. C. From Phenomenology to Metaphysics. Pittsburgh, 1966.
Langan, T. Merleau-Ponty !$• Critique of Reason. New Haven-London, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
The concept of institution, originally introduced by Husserl, shall be analyzed with reference to several authors belonging to the phenomenological and post-phenomenological tradition: Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and Richir.
Through the theories of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gilles Deleuze, Vaughan compares the films of Jean-Luc Godard, which assess the audio visual illusion of empirical observation or objectivity, with the films of Alain Resnais, in which the sound-image creates inventive depictions of individual experience or subjectivity.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (14 March 1908-3 May 1961) was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger.
The book is presented as a prequel to Lawlor's Thinking through French Philosophy: The Being of the Question, and the figures and texts treated in this book were selected in order "to show that a tradition can be constituted" that runs from Bergson, through Freud, Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty to "the great French philosophy of the sixties," which centers on Derrida and Deleuze as well as Foucault.
Our "perception [of the artwork], then, is not merely passive before sensory stimulation, but as ]phenomenologist] Merleau-Ponty suggests, a 'creative receptivity'.
He instead deploys a double strategy: Gallagher seeks to characterize canonical phenomenologists of the likes of Merleau-Ponty as having been engaged in philosophical projects that were not, strictly speaking, pure transcendental phenomenology, and he also outlines how phenomenology today can interact with contemporary empirical science without being reduced to it.
The lens is discussed historically in the introduction suggesting the key phenomenologist theorists he utilizes: Gilles Deleuze, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (6).
The difference of image and prototype was gracefully defined by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, stating that "image is not a copy, optical illusion or another thing": "The animals painted on the walls of Lascaux are not there in the same way as the fissures and limestone formations.
Merleau-Ponty called this a process of becoming, in which color, and therefore the work composed of color, is never static or resolved but always dependent on the relationships between parts of the work and between neighboring works and external experiences.
Looking down from 10, 20, 30,000 feet I thought about something from the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty which I needed to look up once I got home.
Drawing on the thought of the French phenomenologist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, wounds are shown to be imprinted in the very fabric of Southern life, as they are impregnated in the fleshly tissue that chiasmatically intertwines the perceiver with the perceived world.
In "Eye and Mind," Merleau-Ponty cashes out the intentionality of vision in the following terms: "Everything I see is in principle within my reach, at least within reach of my sight, and is marked upon the map of the 'I can.