Coping Without Foundations: On Dreyfus's Use of Merleau-Ponty

Hubert Dreyfus has recently invoked the work of Maurice Merleau?Ponty in criticizing the ?Myth of the Mental?. In criticizing that supposed myth, Dreyfus argues for a kind of foundationalism that takes embodied coping to be a self?sufficient layer of human experience that supports our ?higher? mental activities. In turn, Merleau?Ponty?s phenomenology is found, in Dreyfus?s recent writings, to corroborate this foundationalism. While Merleau?Ponty would agree with many of Dreyfus?s points, this paper argues that he would not, in fact, agree with the foundationalism. Furthermore, when understood in the right way, Merleau?Ponty?s early phenomenology supports the idea, opposed to Dreyfus?s foundationalism, that conceptual activities are tied up with our coping activities. The paper ends by considering the upshot of this reading of Merleau?Ponty?s work for Dreyfus?s phenomenology.
Keywords Merleau-Ponty  Concepts
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DOI 10.1080/09672559.2010.528600
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Donnchadh O'Conaill (2013). On Being Motivated. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):579-595.
Donnchadh O.’Conaill (2014). The Space of Motivations. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3):440-455.

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