Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) is one of the most important philosophers of the Twentieth century. His theories of perception and the role of the body have had an enormous impact on the humanities and social sciences, yet the full scope of his contribution not only to phenomenology but philosophy generally is only now becoming clear. In this lucid and comprehensive introduction, Taylor Carman explains and assesses the full range of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy.
Beginning with an overview of Merleau-Ponty’s life and work, subsequent chapters cover fundamental aspects of Merleau-Ponty’s thought, including his philosophy of perception and intentionality; the role of the body in relation to perception; philosophy of history and culture; and his writings on art and aesthetics, particularly the work of Cezanne. A final chapter considers Merleau-Ponty’s importance today, examining his philosophy in light of recent developments in philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
Merleau-Ponty is essential reading for students of phenomenology, existentialism and Twentieth century philosophy. It is also ideal for anyone in the humanities and social sciences seeking an introduction to his work.