Merleau-Ponty’s Gordian knot: Transcendental phenomenology, science, and naturalism

Continental Philosophy Review 50 (1):81-104 (2017)

Authors
Jack Alan Reynolds
Deakin University
Abstract
In this paper I explore a series of fertile ambiguities that Merleau-Ponty’s work is premised upon. These ambiguities concern some of the central methodological commitments of his work, in particular his commitment to transcendental phenomenology and how he transforms that tradition, and his relationship to science and philosophical naturalism and what they suggest about his philosophical methodology. Many engagements with Merleau-Ponty’s work that are more ‘analytic’ in orientation either deflate it of its transcendental heritage, or offer a “modest” rendering of its transcendental dimensions. This is also true, albeit perhaps to a lesser extent, of the work of the more empirically-minded phenomenological philosophers who engage very seriously with Merleau-Ponty—e.g. Hubert Dreyfus, Shaun Gallagher, Evan Thompson, Alva Noë, and others. At the same time, many other scholars contest these proto-scientific and more naturalistic uses of Merleau-Ponty’s work on hermeneutical and exegetical grounds, and they likewise criticise the deflated reading of his transcendental phenomenology that tends to support them. By working through some of the key passages and ideas, this paper establishes that the former view captures something pivotal to Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy. I also extend these interpretations by arguing that, at least around the time of Phenomenology of Perception, his philosophy might be reasonably regarded as a form of minimal methodological naturalism.
Keywords Merleau-Ponty  Phenomenology  Naturalism  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11007-016-9395-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,669
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Was Merleau-Ponty a ‘Transcendental’ Phenomenologist?Andrew Inkpin - 2017 - Continental Philosophy Review 50 (1):27-47.
Merleau-Ponty’s Transcendental Theory of Perception.Sebastian Gardner - 2015 - In Sebastian Gardner & Matthew Grist (eds.), The Transcendental Turn. Oxford University Press UK.
Merleau-Ponty and Embodied Cognitive Science.Christopher Pollard - 2014 - Discipline Filosofiche : Merleau-Ponty and the Natural Sciences (2):67-90.
The Meontic and the Militant: On Merleau-Ponty’s Relation to Fink∗.Bryan Smyth - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5):669 - 699.
Merleau-Ponty and Embodied Cognitive Science.Christopher Pollard - 2014 - Discipline Filosofiche 24 (2):67-90.
Coping Without Foundations: On Dreyfus’s Use of Merleau‐Ponty.J. C. Berendzen - 2010 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (5):629-649.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-07-13

Total views
37 ( #203,823 of 2,327,685 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #222,008 of 2,327,685 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature