Was Merleau-Ponty a Phenomenologist? Some Reflections Upon the Identity of Phenomenology

  • Konrad Rokstad
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 104)


The paper interrogates into the identity of phenomenology and it is some kind of comparative study, reflecting what both Husserl and Merleau-Ponty say about phenomenology. Based on a perspective provided by Merleau-Ponty’s article “The Philosopher and his Shadow” (which in my view is highly inspired by the historicity of the Crisis), more specifically his conception of philosophical interpretation as (re)thinking the un-thought of in a great philosopher’s thinking, the paper advocates and tries to demonstrate that this is not a “mechanism” only for interpreting another philosopher; in regard to Husserl it might as well appear an internal structure (“mechanism”) in his entire research-work –Husserl himself at the different levels in the development of his phenomenology trying to think the till then un-thought of in his philosophy. Thus Merleau-Ponty is not only a phenomenologist, but perhaps in a somewhat paradoxical manner also the “truest” of hears after Husserl, not only explicating what Husserl said (and wrote) but also what he actually did do. (It is “durch die Tat”, “through its execution” (Crisis, pp. 17/18) – and this might appear paradoxical since Husserl seems to have been doing what Merleau-Ponty says he – M-P in his article – and not Husserl?, is doing.)


Natural Attitude Logical Objectivity Constitutive Analysis Historical Human Life Absolute Presence 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

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  • Konrad Rokstad

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