Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-61) was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. His theories of perception and the role of the body have had an enormous impact on the humanities and social sciences, yet the full scope of his contribution not only to phenomenology but philosophy generally is only now being fully recognized. In this lucid and comprehensive introduction, Taylor Carman explains and assesses the full range of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy.
Beginning with an overview of Merleau-Ponty's life and work, subsequent chapters cover fundamental aspects of Merleau-Ponty's thought, including his philosophy of perception and intentionality; the role of the body in perception; freedom and our relation to others; history and culture; and art, particularly the paintings of Cezanne. A final chapter considers Merleau-Ponty's importance today, examining his philosophy in light of recent developments in philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
This second edition makes use of the new translation of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception, his most important work, highlighting its critique of objective thought and the account of constrained freedom that Merleau-Ponty advanced as a foil to Sartre's notion of radical choice.
Including annotated further reading and a glossary of key terms, Merleau-Ponty, Second Edition is essential reading for students of phenomenology, existentialism and twentieth-century philosophy. It is also ideal for anyone in the humanities and social sciences seeking an introduction to Merleau-Ponty's work.
Country of Publication:
2nd New edition
Series: The Routledge Philosophers
07 October 2019
Further / Higher Education
A / AS level
Acknowledgments Abbreviations Chronology Introduction 1. Life and Works What is perception? The view from somewhere Objective thought Formative influences Language, painting, and politics 2. Intentionality and Perception What is intentionality? The phenomenological reductions What perception is not The phenomenal field Molyneux's problem 3. Body and World What the body is not The bodily point of view The body schema Motor intentionality Flesh and chiasm 4. Others and Freedom The (non)problem of other minds Sartre and the look Empathy and solipsism Radical freedom Thrown freedom 5. Vision and Style The depth of the visible The language of art Cezanne and his world 6. History and Politics Perception of history Liquidation of the dialectic 7. Legacy and Relevance Structuralism and the habitus Behaviorism, cognitivism, and A.I. Embodied cognition, extended mind, enactivism. Glossary Notes Further Reading Bibliography Index
Taylor Carman is Professor of Philosophy at Barnard College, Columbia University, USA.
Reviews for Merleau-Ponty
Praise for the First Edition: 'Carman gives a fresh, clear, and convincing account of Merleau-Ponty's thought. His book is the best available thus far and should be required reading for those interested in Merleau-Ponty's original and important ideas and how they relate both to our pervasive perceptual experience and to current philosophical debate.' - Hubert Dreyfus, University of California, Berkeley, USA 'This is the best introduction to Merleau-Ponty's work available. It provides a clear and lucid overview of the whole of Merleau-Ponty's thought, presenting the central ideas and themes of his writings in an accessible yet rigorous way. As such, it will be of interest to beginners and advanced scholars alike.' - Mark Wrathall, University of Oxford , UK '... a wonderful exposition of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy as a whole. It offers clear explanations of Merleau-Ponty's ideas and some of the most significant theories and movements that influenced him, and shows how his thinking developed across the course of his life. In addition, Carman has written with great panache.' - Komarine Romdenh-Romluc, University of Sheffield, UK 'Carman's accounting is nuanced, closely argued, and exceptionally clear. His introduction covers the whole of Merleau-Ponty's considerable corpus, tracing its development and exhibiting its continued relevance for contemporary debates in phenomenology and psychology, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics. It will be enormously useful to teachers and students seeking an accessible introduction to Merleau-Ponty's writings.' - Wayne Martin, University of Essex, UK 'This book is extremely well written - very clear and engaging - and, with regard to its representation of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy, the account is comprehensive and insightful. I would recommend this book as the first and main commentary for students to consult.' - Sebastian Gardner, University College London, UK