The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary (Continuum Philosophy Dictionaries)
Donald A. Landes
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Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) is one of the central figures of 20th-century Continental philosophy, and his work has been hugely influential in a wide range of fields. His writings engage in the study of perception, language, politics, aesthetics, history and ontology, and represent a rich and complex network of exciting ideas.
The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary provides the reader and student of Merleau-Ponty with all the tools necessary to engage with this key thinker: a comprehensive A to Z that provides summaries of all his major texts and articles, clear and straightforward explanations of his terminology and innovative concepts, and detailed discussions of the figures and philosophies that influenced his work. The book also includes a philosophical introduction, a chronology of Merleau-Ponty's life and works, and suggestions for further reading. This dictionary is the ideal reading and research companion for students at all levels.
world remains on the horizon of the adult world, and nurturing this understanding presents the possibility for a more genuine relation and communication. Child Psycho-Sociology (1950–1) In contrast to traditional approaches, Gestalt psychology offers a way of establishing that development is neither mechanistic (through accumulation) nor idealistic (as an existential leap to a pure Ego), but rather a trajectory of new structures that proceeds in a motivated way. This conception also found in
able to grasp (Greifen) but not point (Zeigen). In general, patients unable to perform “abstract” movements must pass through an explicit intellectual act or conscious decision in order to approximate normal behavior, which reveals to Merleau-Ponty that normal behavior has no need for this extra interpretative step (PhP, Part One, Chapter Three). Action Merleau-Ponty offers a nuanced phenomenological theory of human action, even if he initially expresses some reservations regarding this term
disillusioned with the direction of Communist politics, Merleau-Ponty abandoned any optimistic wait-and-seeMarxism. In the epilogue to Adventures of the Dialectic, he concludes that all dialectical politics is at risk of freezing the movement and establishing a “bad dialectic.” Embracing the underlying politics of expression that emerged in his writing, Merleau-Ponty concluded that the political structure capable of remaining open to expressive movement would be a parliamentary structure. This
(133). It seems that normal subjects are oriented toward a meaningful world through an “intentional arc” (137), a non-thetic orientation that “projects around us our past, our future, our human milieu, our physical situation, our ideological situation, and our moral situation” (137). Rather than being bodies with the ability to move ourselves, humans are structured according to motricity, an originary mode of intentionality, and an oriented way of being-inthe-world of the “I can.” Merleau-Ponty
York: Routledge, 2012). PNP “Philosophy and Non-Philosophy Since Hegel,” trans. Hugh J. Silverman, in Philosophy and Non-Philosophy Since Merleau-Ponty, ed. Hugh J. Silverman, 9–83 (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988). PRP The Primacy of Perception, ed. James M. Edie (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964). PSY “Phenomenology and Psychoanalysis: Preface to Hesnard’s L’Œuvre de Freud,” trans. Alden L. Fisher, in Merleau-Ponty and Psychology, ed. Keith Hoeller, 67–72