The first reader to offer a comprehensive view of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’ s (1908-1961) work, this selection collects in one volume the foundational essays necessary for understanding the core of this critical twentieth-century philosopher’ s thought.
Arranged chronologically, the essays are grouped in three sections corresponding to the major periods of Merleau-Ponty’ s work: First, the years prior to his appointment to the Sorbonne in 1949, the early, existentialist period during which he wrote important works on the phenomenology of perception and the primacy of perception; second, the years of his work as professor of child psychology and pedagogy at the Sorbonne, a period especially concerned with language; and finally, his years as chair of modern philosophy at the Collè ge de France, a time devoted to the articulation of a new ontology and philosophy of nature. The editors, who provide an interpretive introduction, also include previously unpublished working notes found in Merleau-Ponty’ s papers after his death. Translations of all selections have been updated and several appear here in English for the first time.
By contextualizing Merleau-Ponty’ s writings on the philosophy of art and politics within the overall development of his thought, this volume allows readers to see both the breadth of his contribution to twentieth-century philosophy and the convergence of the various strands of his reflection.