Introduction: Merleau-Ponty’s Gordian knot
- 648 Downloads
A feature of Merleau-Ponty’s work that both distinguishes him from the other classical phenomenologists and makes him of particular contemporary interest is his intensive and explicit engagement with scientific research. However, as enticing as the prospect of a scientifically informed, but genuinely philosophical phenomenology might be, there is much uncertainty over how to understand Merleau-Ponty’s methodological and metaphilosophical commitments. Particularly vexing is his apparent commitment to transcendental phenomenology on the one hand, along with his extensive use of empirical science—which seems to imply at least concessions to naturalism—on the other. For this brings together two kinds of intellectual project that have commonly been thought of as distinct or even incommensurable by both traditional and contemporary authors. The image of the Gordian knot captures this enticing but apparently unfathomable constellation of ideas, while prompting the question of whether and how...