Naturalism Reconsidered: Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty

Philosophy Today 56 (1):78-83 (2012)
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While naturalism is used in positive senses by the tradition of analytical philosophy, with Ludwig Wittgenstein its best example, and by the tradition of phenomenology, with Maurice Merleau-Ponty its best exemplar, it also has an extremely negative sense on both of these fronts. Hence, both Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein in their basic thrusts adamantly reject reductionistic naturalism. Although Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology rejects the naturalism Husserl rejects, he early on found a place for the “truth of naturalism.” In a parallel way, Wittgenstein accepts a certain positive sense of naturalism, while rejecting Quine’s kind of naturalism. It is the aim of this paper to investigate the common ground in the views of Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty regarding the naturalism that they each espouse and that which they each reject.

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Author Profiles

Patrick Bourgeois
Loyola University, New Orleans
Robert Greenleaf Brice
Northern Kentucky University

Citations of this work

Wittgenstein and Phenomenology.Deva Waal - 2021 - Philosophical Investigations 44 (4):372-402.

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References found in this work

Philosophy of Language and Mind: 1950-1990.Tyler Burge - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (1):3.
Epistemology Naturalized.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1969 - In . Columbia University Press. pp. 69-90.
The Primacy of Perception.Merleau-Ponty Maurice - 1964 - Northwestern University Press.
Wittgenstein’s Naturalism.David Pears - 1995 - The Monist 78 (4):411-424.

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