Maurice Merleau-Ponty is hailed as one of the key philosophers of the twentieth century. _Phenomenology of Perception_ is his most famous and influential work, and an essential text for anyone seeking to understand phenomenology. In this _GuideBook_ Komarine Romdenh-Romluc introduces and assesses: Merleau-Ponty’s life and the background to his philosophy the key themes and arguments of _Phenomenology of Perception_ the continuing importance of Merleau-Ponty’s work to philosophy. _Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception_ is an ideal starting point for anyone coming to (...) his great work for the first time. It is essential reading for students of Merleau-Ponty, phenomenology and related subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker identifies a form of injustice she calls “hermeneutical injustice”. She argues that each culture has a stock of shared meanings that its members can use to describe their experience. Cultures are made up of different social groups, with uneven relations of power between them. In some cases, a culture’s shared meanings will reflect the experiences of more powerful groups, and be a poor fit for the experiences of less powerful members, who are subsequently disadvantaged. This is what Fricker (...) calls “hermeneutical injustice”. Here, I argue that her account faces a serious difficulty: it relies on two intuitions about the source of hermeneutical injustice that are in tension with one another, and which cannot be made consistent within her framework. Consequently, her account is both too restrictive and too permissive. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker identifies a wrong she calls ‘hermeneutical injustice’. A culture’s hermeneutical resources are the shared meanings its members use to understand their experience, and communicate this understanding to others. Cultures tend to be composed of different social groups that are organised hierarchically. As a consequence of these uneven power relations, the culture’s shared meanings often reflect the lives of its more powerful members, and fail to properly capture the experiences of the less powerful. This may result in members of (...) less powerful groups being harmed. Such disadvantage constitutes, for Fricker, hermeneutical injustice. In this paper, I discuss a problem for Fricker, which arises when we consider what is required to remedy a hermeneutical wrong. Fricker characterizes hermeneutical injustice as involving a lack of concepts, on the part of the disadvantaged group, to capture some important aspect of their experience. But what has not been properly appreciated in the literature to date, is that it is really competing views of the world that are at stake. Moreover, Fricker’s account seemingly implies that the disadvantaged group’s understanding of the world should be treated as authoritative, and taken up by the wider culture. The worry is that in some cases, the disadvantaged group’s view of the world is not one that we think should be accepted. Having presented this problem, I will then show that it bears some similarities to another debate: the dispute over feminist critiques of alien cultural practices. I will then argue that lessons drawn from the latter can help overcome the problem of authority in Fricker’s case. (shrink)
In a series of recent papers, Hubert Dreyfus offers an elegant elucidation and defence of Merleau-Ponty’s view of agency, bringing it to the attention of theorists working in a number of different fields. However, there is a central problem with Dreyfus’s account: he places too little importance on the role of thought in human action. This paper raises some difficulties for Dreyfus, before offering a suggestion for understanding the role of thought in action within a Merleau-Pontyian framework.
The traditional account of first-person thought draws conclusions about this type of thinking from claims made about the first-person pronoun. In this paper I raise a worry for the traditional account. Certain uses of 'I' conflict with its conception of the linguistic data. I argue that once the data is analysed correctly, the traditional approach to first-person thought cannot be maintained.
Pragmatic Perspectives in Phenomenology offers a complex analysis of the pragmatic theses that are present in the works of leading phenomenological authors, including not only Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, as it is often the case within Hubert Dreyfus' tradition, but also Husserl, Levinas, Scheler, and Patocka. Starting from a critical reassessment of existing pragmatic readings which draw especially on Heidegger's account of Being-in-the-world, the volume's chapters explore the following themes as possible justifications for speaking about the pragmatic turn in phenomenology: the (...) primacy of the practical over theoretical understanding, criticism of the representationalist account of perception and consciousness, and the analysis of language and truth within the context of social and cultural practices. Having thus analyzed the pragmatic readings of key phenomenological concepts, the book situates these readings in a larger historical and thematic context and introduces themes that until now have been overlooked in debates, including freedom, alterity, transcendence, normativity, distance, and self-knowledge. This volume seeks to refresh the debate about the phenomenological legacy and its relevance for contemporary thought by enlarging the thematic scope of pragmatic motives in phenomenology in new and revealing ways. It will be of interest to advanced students and scholars of phenomenology who are interested in moving beyond the analytic-continental divide to explore the relationship between practice and theory. (shrink)
Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Ludwig Wittgenstein are two of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, yet their work is generally regarded as standing in contrast to one another. However, as this outstanding collection demonstrates they both reject a Cartesian picture of the mind and sought to offer an alternative that does justice to the role played by bodily action, language, and our membership within a community that shares a way of life. This is the first collection to compare and (...) contrast the work of these two major philosophers. Fundamental topics and problems discussed include the role of community in their philosophies; Merleau-Ponty on description and depiction and Wittgenstein on saying and doing; the role of language; their treatment of expression; their relation to the philosophy of the Vienna Circle; solipsism; and rule-following. It is essential reading for anyone studying the work of Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty, as well as those interested in phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. (shrink)
Each of us enjoys a special awareness of (some) of her mental states. The adverbial model of first-person awareness claims that to be aware of a mental state is for it to be conscious, where ‘conscious’ describes the kind of state it is, rather than denoting a form of awareness directed at it. Here, I present an argument for construing first-person awareness of intentions adverbially, by showing that this model can meet a serious challenge posed by the simulation hypothesis, which (...) draws on data about schizophrenia. (shrink)
Moran conceives of conscious belief as a conscious activity, rather than awareness of a mental state. Once conscious belief is understood in this way, the notion of suppressed belief becomes problematic. In this paper, I draw on the work of Merleau-Ponty to sketch an account of suppressed belief. I suggest that suppressed beliefs should not be understood as attitudes towards propositions. Instead, they should be conceived as ways of perceiving and interacting with the world that are out of keeping with (...) how one repre-sents it as being. (shrink)
We assume that we can act—in at least some cases—by consciously intending to do so. Wegner (2002) appeals to empirical research carried out by Libet et al. (1983) to challenge this assumption. I argue that his conclusion presupposes a particular view of conscious intention. But there is an alternative model available, which has been developed by various writers in the phenomenological tradition, and most recently defended by Moran (2001). If we adopt this alternative account of conscious intention, Wegner’s argument no (...) longer goes through, and we can retain the claim that our conscious intentions can give rise to action. (shrink)
This outstanding collection offers a thorough and diverse philosophical exploration of habit from the classical period to the modern day. Essential reading for students and researchers in the history of philosophy, ethics, phenomenology, philosophy of action and pragmatism.