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LPHI 2048 - Maurice Merleau Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

First published in 1945, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phénoménologie de la perception claims that embodied existence is an essential aspect of how we perceive and know the world in which we live. Through offering a phenomenological description of the primary experiences of embodied existence, Merleau-Ponty attempts to provide an alternative to intellectualism or idealism on the one hand, and empiricism or realism on the other. In doing so, he not only critically engages with philosophers like Descartes, Kant, Hegel and Marx, but also uses a wide range of examples of empirical research in psychology, anthropology, psychoanalysis and biology. Through a close reading of Phenomenology of Perception we will join Merleau-Ponty in questioning the philosophical distinction between the mind or soul and the body, the presuppositions that underlie the notion of objectivity, and the importance of embodied orientation for our relations with others, as well as our ability to share a world with them.
Liberal Arts, Open to Non Majors
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Spring 2018, Fall 2016
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