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Summary Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) is best known for his contributions to phenomenology, in particular to phenomenological approaches to the body, perception, and consciousness in relation to nature. This also leads him to contributions in aesthetics, ontology, and the philosophy of nature, philosophy of science and philosophy of psychology. Through critical engagement with Marxism, in his philosophical and popular writings, he also contributes to social and political philosophy. A contemporary and colleague of figures such as Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Lacan, he was a public intellectual in France. He was Chair of Child Psychology and Pedagogy at the Sorbonne from 1949-52, and was appointed Chair of Philosophy at the Collége de France in 1952. He passed away suddenly at the age of 53, leaving behind a rich though incomplete project in phenomenological ontology and an array of unpublished notes and lectures.
Key works The monographs published by Merleau-Ponty in his lifetime are Structure of Behaviour (1943), Phenomenology of Perception (1945), Humanism and Terror (1947), In Praise of Philosophy (1953), and Adventures of the Dialectic (1955). As well, he published collections of essays in Sense and Non-Sense (1948) and Signs (1960). At the time of this death Merleau-Ponty was working on a monograph, incomplete, which was titled The Visible and the Invisible (1961) by its editor, Claude Lefort. The Prose of the World is a project Merleau-Ponty abandoned circa 1952 that was published in 1968, after his death. As well, a number of his lectures courses have been published, drawing on notes from him and his students, on topics such as child psychology, expression, nature, Husserl, institution and passivity. For English readers, The Merleau-Ponty Reader, The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader, and The Primacy of Perception contain helpful collections of and selections from Merleau-Ponty’s published and unpublished texts. Also, The World of Perception, which is a transcription from a series of radio addresses given by Merleau-Ponty in 1948, offers a nice introduction to his early work.
Introductions For English readers, the following provide helpful resources and introductions for studying Merleau-Ponty and his texts: The Being of the Phenomenon (Barbaras), Merleau-Ponty (Carman), Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology (Dillon), Merleau-Ponty: Key Concepts (eds. Diprose and Reynolds), Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy (Hass), The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary (Landes), The Phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty (Madison), Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy (Mallin), Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Merleau-Ponty (Romdenh-Romluc)
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  1. Shaun Gallagher & Thomas Busch (eds.) (1992). Merleau-Ponty, Hermeneutics and Postmodernism. State University of New York Press.
    Opens up new dimensions in the philosophical thought of Merleau-Ponty and addresses contemporary issues concerning interpretation theory and postmodernity.
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  2. Francine Wynn (2002). The Early Relationship of Mother and Pre-Infant: Merleau-Ponty and Pregnancy. Nursing Philosophy 3 (1):4–14.
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  3. Christopher M. Aanstoos (1987). A Critique of the Computational Model of Thought: The Contribution of Merleau-Ponty. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 18 (1):187-200.
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  4. David Abram (1988). Merleau-Ponty and the Voice of the Earth. Environmental Ethics 10 (2):101-120.
    Ecologists and environmental theorists have paid little attention to our direct, sensory experience of the enveloping world. In this paper I discuss the importance of such experience for ecological philosophy. Merleau-Ponty’s careful phenomenology of perceptual experience shows perception to be an inherently creative, participatory activity-a sort of conversation, carried on underneath our spoken discourse, between the living body and its world. His later work discloses the character of language itself as a medium born of the body’s participation with a world (...)
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  5. Christopher Adamo (2003). Merleau-Ponty's Reading of Husserl. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 24 (1):243-246.
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  6. Christopher Adamo (2002). Merleau-Ponty's Later Works and Their Practical Implications. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 23 (2):238-242.
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  7. Harry Adams (2008). Merleau-Ponty: Key Concepts. In Rosalyn Diprose & Jack Reynolds (eds.). Acumen Publishing. 152-162.
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  8. Harry Adams (2001). Merleau-Ponty and the Advent of Meaning: From Consummate Reciprocity to Ambiguous Reversibility. [REVIEW] Continental Philosophy Review 34 (2):203-224.
    The three themes of perception, expression, and history proved to be significant and consistent concerns of Merleau-Ponty from his earliest to his latest writings. In turn, Merleau-Ponty was concerned to discover and show how meaning emerged within the context of each of these themes. My main goal in this essay will be to trace ways that Merleau-Ponty conceived of this emergence, and to how his conceptions underwent increasing sophistication from his earlier to later writings. In section I, I show how (...)
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  9. Suzi Adams (2010). Résumé: Les dimensions du monde. Chiasmi International 11:130-130.
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  10. Suzi Adams (2009). Dimensions of the World. Chiasmi International 11:111-129.
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  11. Suzi Adams (2009). Riassunto: Dimensioni del mondo. Chiasmi International 11:130-130.
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  12. Will Adams (2007). The Primacy of Interrelating: Practicing Ecological Psychology with Buber, Levinas, and Merleau-Ponty. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 38 (1):24-61.
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  13. Kevin Aho (2009). Heidegger's Neglect of the Body. State University of New York Press.
    In Heidegger's Neglect of the Body, Kevin A. Aho suggests the critics largely fail to appreciate Heidegger's nuanced understanding of Dasein, which is not to be ...
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  14. Kevin A. Aho (2005). The Missing Dialogue Between Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty: On the Importance of the Zollikon Seminars. Body and Society 11 (2):1-23.
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  15. Alia Al-Saji (2010). Bodies and Sensings: On the Uses of Husserlian Phenomenology for Feminist Theory. [REVIEW] Continental Philosophy Review 43 (1):13-37.
    What does Husserlian phenomenology have to offer feminist theory? More specifically, can we find resources within Husserl’s account of the living body ( Leib ) for the critical feminist project of rethinking embodiment beyond the dichotomies not only of mind/body but also of subject/object and activity/passivity? This essay begins by explicating the reasons for feminist hesitation with respect to Husserlian phenomenology. I then explore the resources that Husserl’s phenomenology of touch and his account of sensings hold for feminist theory. My (...)
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  16. Alia Al-Saji (2010). A Phenomenology of Critical-Ethical Vision. Chiasmi International 11:375-398.
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  17. Alia Al-Saji (2009). An Absence That Counts in the World: Merleau-Ponty’s Later Philosophy of Time in Light of Bernet’s 'Einleitung'. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 40 (2):207-227.
    This paper examines Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy of time in light of his critique and reconceptualization of Edmund Husserl’s early time-analyses. Drawing on The Visible and the Invisible and lecture courses, I elaborate Merleau-Ponty’s re-reading of Husserl’s time-analyses through the lens of Rudolf Bernet’s “Einleitung” to this work. My question is twofold: what becomes of the central Husserlian concepts of present and retention in Merleau-Ponty’s later work, and how do Husserl’s elisions, especially of the problem of forgetting, become generative moments (...)
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  18. Alia Al-Saji (2009). Riassunto: Una fenomenologia della visione critico-etica. Chiasmi International 11:399-399.
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  19. Alia Al-Saji (2009). A Phenomenology of Critical-Ethical Vision: Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and the Question of Seeing Differently. Chiasmi International 11:375-398.
    Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s “Eye and Mind” and Bergson’s Matière et mémoire and “La perception du changement,” I ask what resources are available in vision for interrupting objectifying habits of seeing. While both Bergson and Merleau-Ponty locate the possibility of seeing differently in the figure of the painter, I develop by means of their texts, and in dialogue with Iris Marion Young’s work, a more general phenomenology of hesitation that grounds what I am calling “critical-ethical vision.” Hesitation, I argue, stems from (...)
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  20. Alia Al-Saji (2009). Résumé: Une phénoménologie de la vision critique-éthique. Chiasmi International 11:398-399.
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  21. Alia Al-Saji (2008). "A Past Which has Never Been Present": Bergsonian Dimensions in Merleau-Ponty's Theory of the Prepersonal. Research in Phenomenology 38 (1):41-71.
    Merleau-Ponty's reference to "a past which has never been present" at the end of "Le sentir" challenges the typical framework of the Phenomenology of Perception, with its primacy of perception and bodily field of presence. In light of this "original past," I propose a re-reading of the prepersonal as ground of perception that precedes the dichotomies of subject-object and activity-passivity. Merleau-Ponty searches in the Phenomenology for language to describe this ground, borrowing from multiple registers (notably Bergson, but also Husserl). This (...)
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  22. Alia Al-Saji (2007). The Temporality of Life: Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and the Immemorial Past. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):177-206.
    Borrowing conceptual tools from Bergson, this essay asks after the shift in the temporality of life from Merleau-Ponty’s Phénoménologie de la perception to his later works. Although the Phénoménologie conceives life in terms of the field of presence of bodily action, later texts point to a life of invisible and immemorial dimensionality. By reconsidering Bergson, but also thereby revising his reading of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty develops a non-serial theory of time in the later works, one that acknowledges the verticality and irreducibility (...)
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  23. Alia Al-Saji (2007). The Temporality of Life: Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and the Immemorial Past. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):177-206.
    Borrowing conceptual tools from Bergson, this essay asks after the shift in the temporality of life from Merleau-Ponty’s Phénoménologie de la perception to his later works. Although the Phénoménologie conceives life in terms of the field of presence of bodily action, later texts point to a life of invisible and immemorial dimensionality. By reconsidering Bergson, but also thereby revising his reading of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty develops a nonserial theory of time in the later works, one that acknowledges the verticality and irreducibility (...)
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  24. Alia Al-Saji (2007). The Temporality of Life. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):177-206.
    Borrowing conceptual tools from Bergson, this essay asks after the shift in the temporality of life from Merleau-Ponty’s Phénoménologie de la perception to his later works. Although the Phénoménologie conceives life in terms of the field of presence of bodily action, later texts point to a life of invisible and immemorial dimensionality. By reconsidering Bergson, but also thereby revising his reading of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty develops a nonserial theory of time in the later works, one that acknowledges the verticality and irreducibility (...)
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  25. Alia Al-Saji (2006). Vision, Mirror and Expression: The Genesis of the Ethical Body in Merleau-Ponty’s Later Works. In James Hatley, Janice McLane & Christian Diehm (eds.), Interrogating Ethics: Embodying the Good in Merleau-Ponty. Duquesne University Press.
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  26. Alia Al-Saji (2005). Abstract: The Vision in the Mirror. Chiasmi International 6:271-271.
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  27. Alia Al-Saji (2005). La Vision dans le Miroir. Chiasmi International 6:253-271.
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  28. Alia Al-Saji (2005). riassunto: La visione nello specchio. Chiasmi International 6:272-272.
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  29. Alia Al-Saji (2001). Merleau-Ponty and Bergson: Bodies of Expression and Temporalities in the Flesh. Philosophy Today 45 (5):110-123.
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  30. Richard J. Alapack (1971). The Physiognomy of the Mueller-Lyer Figure. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 2 (1):27-47.
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  31. Angela Ales Bello (2008). Abstract: “Brute Being” and Hyletic Phenomenology. Chiasmi International 10:161-161.
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  32. Angela Ales Bello (2008). Résumé: “Être brut” et hylétique phénoménologique. Chiasmi International 10:161-161.
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  33. Carsten Allefeld (2008). What Can We Learn From Merleau-Ponty's Ontology for a Science of Consciousness? Mind and Matter 6 (2):235-255.
    Representative for contemporary attempts to establish a science of consciousness we examine Chalmers' statement and resolution of the 'hard problem of consciousness'. Agreeing with him that in order to account for subjectivity it is necessary to expand the ontology of the natural sciences, we argue that it is not sufficient to just add conscious experience to the list of fundamental features of the world. Instead, we turn to phenomenology as the philosophy of conscious experience and give an outline of Merleau-Ponty's (...)
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  34. Emmanuel Alloa (2013). The Diacritical Nature of Meaning. Chiasmi International 15:167-181.
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  35. Emmanuel Alloa (2009). Abstract: Flesh as Embodied Diacritics. Chiasmi International 11:262-262.
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  36. Emmanuel Alloa (2009). La chair comme diacritique incarné. Chiasmi International 11:249-262.
    In 20th century thinking, few concepts have provoked as many misunderstandings as Merleau-Ponty’s notion of ‘Flesh’. Such misunderstandings (of which the article sketches the outline of an archaeology) rest on the initial assumption that the Flesh has to be derived from the body. The article suggests that the dominant readings of the Flesh can be organized along what could respectively be called the scenario of propriety and the scenario of expansion, beyond which a third way comes into view which does (...)
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  37. Emmanuel Alloa (2009). Riassunto: La carne come diacritico incarnato. Chiasmi International 11:262-262.
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  38. Emmanuel Alloa (2007). The Madness of Sight. In Karin Leonhard & Silke Horstkotte (eds.), Seeing Perception. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: 40-59.
    Viewing Vermeer with Merleau-Ponty's eyes.
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  39. Emmanuel Alloa & Renaud Barbaras (2014). La résistance du sensible. Merleau-Ponty critique de la transparence, avec une préface de Renaud Barbaras. Kimé.
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  40. Kartina Amin (2003). riassunto: II chiasma del ritmo. Chiasmi International 5:199-199.
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  41. Kartina Amin (2003). résumé: Le chiasme du rythme. Chiasmi International 5:198-198.
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  42. Kartina Amin (2003). The Chiasm of Rhythm. Chiasmi International 5:179-197.
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  43. Lucia Angelino (2007). Relire Merleau-Ponty à la Lumiàre Des Inedits (II). Chiasmi International 9:488-492.
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  44. Lucia Angelino (2007). Rileggere Merleau-Ponty alla Luce degli Inediti (II). Chiasmi International 9:483-487.
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  45. Lucia Angelino (2007). Re-Reading Merleau-Ponty in the Light of the Unpublished Writings (II). Chiasmi International 9:493-497.
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  46. Lucia Angelino (2007). Compte rendu de la journée d'études des Archives Husserl de Paris “Relire Merleau-Ponty à la lumière des inédits (II)” organisé par Emmanuel de Saint Aubert à l'Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris. Chiasmi International 9:483-493.
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  47. Lucia Angelino (2005). Note sul Dialogo tra Merleau-Ponty e Melanie Klein. Chiasmi International 6:369-379.
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  48. Lucia Angelino (2005). résumé: Notes sur Ie dialogue entre Merleau-Ponty et Melanie Klein. Chiasmi International 6:380-380.
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  49. Lucia Angelino (2005). Abstract: Some Notes Concerning the Dialogue Between Merleau-Ponty and Melanie Klein. Chiasmi International 6:381-381.
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  50. Cecilia Antolini (2006). Merleau-Ponty e l'Arte Concettuale. Chiasmi International 8:221-232.
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