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Is Merleau-Ponty's position in phenomenology of perception a new type of transcendental idealism?

Pollard, Christopher 2014, Is Merleau-Ponty's position in phenomenology of perception a new type of transcendental idealism?, Idealistic studies, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 119-138, doi: 10.5840/idstudies20152920.

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Title Is Merleau-Ponty's position in phenomenology of perception a new type of transcendental idealism?
Author(s) Pollard, Christopher
Journal name Idealistic studies
Volume number 44
Issue number 1
Start page 119
End page 138
Total pages 20
Publisher Philosophy Documentation Center
Place of publication Charlottesville, Va.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 0046-8541
Keyword(s) Arts & Humanities
Philosophy
Summary It has recently been suggested that Merleau-Ponty’s position in Phenomenology of Perception is a unique form of transcendental idealism. The general claim is that in spite of his critique of “Kantianism,” Merleau-Ponty’s position comes out as a form of transcendental idealism that takes the perceptual processes of the lived body as the transcendental constituting condition for the possibility of experience. In this article I critically appraise this claim. I argue that if the term “idealist” is intended in a sufficiently similar sense to Kant’s usage of the term in naming his position as a “transcendental idealism” then it is a misrepresentation to subsume Merleau-Ponty’s position under that term. This is because Merleau-Ponty rejects the transcendental metaphysics of the reflecting subject that underpins transcendental idealism. In its place he advocates a methodological transcendentalism that, whilst being anti-realist, is not idealist. Thus to call his position “a new kind of transcendental idealism,” as Sebastian Gardner has, is to misunderstand the significance of his existentialist break with what he sees as the “intellectualism” of this position.
Language eng
DOI 10.5840/idstudies20152920
Field of Research 220310 Phenomenology
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Philosophy Documentation Center
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30073791

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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