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The Subject in Nature: Reflections on Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception

  • Rudolf Bernet
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 129)

Abstract

On the occasion of the commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of Husserl’s birth, Merleau-Ponty wrote:

Establishing a tradition means forgetting its origins, the aging Husserl used to say. Precisely because we owe so much to tradition, we are in no position to see just what belongs to it. With regard to a philosopher whose venture has awakened so many echoes, and at such an apparent distance from the point where he himself stood, any commemoration is also a betrayal — whether we do him the highly superfluous homage of our thoughts, as if we sought to gain them a wholly unmerited warrant, or whether on the contrary, with a respect that is not lacking in distance, we reduce him too strictly to what he himself desired and said.’

Keywords

Human Existence Symbolic System Natural Life Abstract Movement Symbolic Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, “The Philosopher and His Shadow,” in Signs, trans. R. C. McCleary (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964), p. 159.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. C. Smith (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962). All page references in the text itself refer to this translation which we occasionally modify.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible, trans. A. Lingis (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Henry, Phénoménologie matérielle (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1990), p. 5: “Qu’apporte de véritablement nouveau par rapport à Husserl, Heidegger ou Scheler, et cela en dépit de son immense talent, un penseur comme Merleau-Ponty?”.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible, p. 200; cf. also p. 183.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, Themes from the Lectures (1952–1960), trans. J. O’Neill (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970), pp. 64–65.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, Signs, p. 178.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, p. 151.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, p. 68.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    W. Benjamin, “Some Motives in Baudelaire” (1939) in Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, trans. H. Zohn (London: New Left Books, 1973).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, p. 330.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, Signs, p. 172.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf Bernet

There are no affiliations available

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