The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary (Continuum Philosophy Dictionaries)

By Donald A. Landes

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) is among the vital figures of 20th-century Continental philosophy, and his paintings has been highly influential in a variety of fields. His writings interact within the learn of conception, language, politics, aesthetics, heritage and ontology, and symbolize a wealthy and intricate community of intriguing ideas.

The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary presents the reader and pupil of Merleau-Ponty with the entire instruments essential to have interaction with this key philosopher: a entire A to Z that gives summaries of all his significant texts and articles, transparent and easy causes of his terminology and cutting edge strategies, and particular discussions of the figures and philosophies that encouraged his paintings. The publication additionally contains a philosophical advent, a chronology of Merleau-Ponty's existence and works, and recommendations for extra examining. This dictionary is the fitting analyzing and study significant other for college kids in any respect levels.

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For this sort of philosopher, if a dictionary is to be written it needs to supply no longer the summary community of stable definitions and synopses, however the instruments for a accountable and artistic studying. certainly, as he writes of what one could name the open trajectory of feel or of background: “each production alters, clarifies, deepens, confirms, exalts, re-creates, or creates by means of anticipation the entire others” (MPAR, 149). With approximately three hundred interconnecting entries during this presentation of “Merleau-Ponty, A–Z,” an in depth account of his lifestyles and works, and an index which gives assistance for ideas and themes woven in the course of the person entries, The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary goals to not be the last word on “the” that means of Merleau-Ponty’s idea, yet fairly a better half for an open and accountable perform of interpreting, a tradition within the kind of Merleau-Ponty. Merleau-Ponty definitely earned his recognition because the thinker of the physique, and the real emphasis on his go back to lived adventure is worthy noting on the outset. In his earliest experiences, he pursued the thought of habit accurately since it is “not a specific thing, yet nor is it an concept” (SB, 127). This assertion is critical in what it denies, for it captures his power try to dissolve the schism among realism and idealism, or empiricism and intellectualism. For empiricism, the universe is to be defined via mechanistic causality, and the physique is taken to be one item between others; for intellectualism, the universe needs to be defined via cause, and the physique is to be understood in line with its notion or transcendental association less than the kingdom of a brain. For Merleau-Ponty, every one of those philosophical positions—pure exteriority as opposed to natural interiority—entails a pernicious pensée de survol, a pondering “from above” that mistakenly assures the thinker a God’s-eye view upon that that is to be defined. advent xiii throughout all of his paintings, from habit and belief to aesthetics, politics, and ontology, Merleau-Ponty insists on resisting the fictions and blunders of the pensée de survol, and masses of his early paintings unmasks the required (and frequently shared) mistakes of those traditions to be able to cartoon out a brand new procedure. In his first publication, The constitution of habit (1938/1942), Merleau-Ponty establishes, opposed to empiricism, that habit will be visible to emerge inside nature in the course of the visual appeal of a perceptual awareness that's greater than a sum of the mechanistic components, and but lower than the Ego of classical intellectualism. In his magnum opus, Phenomenology of belief (1945), Merleau-Ponty establishes, opposed to intellectualism, the basic and inextricable ambiguity of our lived and embodied event, our being-in-the-world. This strategy reoriented philosophy and validated the necessity to undertake an existential research and an expressive philosophy that would start to comprehend this ambiguous physique that's “always anything except what it really is: continuously sexuality whilst freedom, regularly rooted in nature on the very second it's remodeled by way of tradition” (PhP, 205).

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