The Logic of the Observed

Symposium 5 (1):83-94 (2001)
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Abstract

The first line of Merleau-Ponty 's 1951-52 lecture "The Question of Method in Child Psychology" readt, "In child psychology (as in psychopathology, the psychology of primitives, and the psychology ofwomen), the situation ofthe object of study is so different from that ofthe observer that it cannot be grasped on its own terms." Is there any hope for a feminist reading of Merleau-Ponty's psychology with such a statement, or are women relegated in Merleau-Ponty's corpus alongside the childlike, the insane, and the primitive? This paper endeavors to demonstrate that Merleau-Ponty 's understanding of the psychology of women is not a false or bigoted placing of women in an infant-like position. Rather, he demonstrates that it is precisely this relationship of man to woman that must be the starting point of analysis for both a philosophy and psychology of sex.

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Talia Welsh
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

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