Merleau-Ponty and the Other World of Painting: A Response

Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 40 (1):89-97 (2009)
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Abstract

This paper is a response to a claim made by Tarjei Larsen that Merleau-Ponty’s own theory of painting undermines the important distinction made in his thought between primordial perception and cultural construction because it requires that perception take different cultural and historical forms in order to account for perspectival painting. I show that this distinction is not so easily collapsed by arguing that Larsen has misconstrued Merleau-Ponty’s account of painting as a phenomenological theory of painting and misinterpreted Merleau-Ponty’s concept of painterly style, and that therefore the conclusion that perception must be malleable is not warranted. What is at stake in this debate is whether Merleau-Ponty’s own account of painting threatens the basis for his phenomenological project as well as his attempt to accord substantial philosophical significance to painting.

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David W. Johnson
Boston College

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References found in this work

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Eye and Mind.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1964 - In The Primacy of Perception. Evanston, USA: Northwestern University Press. pp. 159-190.
Merleau-ponty on the concept of style.Linda Singer - 1981 - Man and World 14 (2):153-163.
Merleau-Ponty and the Spirit of Painting.James Gordon Place - 1973 - Philosophy Today 17 (4):280-291.

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