An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty

  • William S. Hamrick

Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 104)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction

    1. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 1-18
  3. The Social World

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 21-39
    3. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 40-63
    4. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 64-85
    5. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 86-112
  4. The Phenomenon of Law

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 113-113
    2. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 115-149
    3. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 150-185
    4. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 186-224
    5. William S. Hamrick
      Pages 225-232
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 233-246

About this book


The following pages attempt to develop the main outlines of an existential phenomenology of law within the context of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phe­ nomenology of the social world. In so doing, the essay addresses the rather narrow scholarly question, If Merleau-Ponty had written a phenomenology of law, what would it have looked like? But this scholarly enterprise, although impeccable in itself, is also transcended by a more complicated concern for a very different sort of question. Namely, if Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological descriptions of the social world are correct-as I believe they largely are-then what are the philosophical consequences for an adequate understanding of law? Such a project may well occasion a certain surprise amongst observers of the contemporary philosophical landscape, at least in what concerns the terrain of continental thought, and for two different reasons. The first is that, although interest in Merleau-Ponty's work remains strong in the· United States and Can­ ada, his philosophical standing in his own country has been largely eclipsed! by that of, first, his friend/estranged acquaintance, Jean-Paul Sartre; by various Marxist philosophies and critical social theories; and finally by those doing her­ meneutics of language. In my view, current neglect of Merleau-Ponty's thought in France is most regrettable.


Jean-Paul Sartre Marx Maurice Merleau-Ponty morality phenomenology politics

Authors and affiliations

  • William S. Hamrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Illinois University at EdwardsvilleUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-8302-9
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-0707-7
  • Series Print ISSN 0079-1350
  • Buy this book on publisher's site