Maurice Merleau-Ponty: life and works

Reynolds, Jack 2008, Maurice Merleau-Ponty: life and works. In Diprose, Rosalyn (ed), Merleau-Ponty: Key Concepts, Acumen Publishing, Balmain, N.S.W., pp.3-7, doi: 10.1017/UPO9781844654024.001.


Title Maurice Merleau-Ponty: life and works
Author(s) Reynolds, JackORCID iD for Reynolds, Jack orcid.org/0000-0002-4725-0395
Title of book Merleau-Ponty: Key Concepts
Editor(s) Diprose, Rosalyn
Publication date 2008
Series Key Concepts
Chapter number 1
Total chapters 21
Start page 3
End page 7
Total pages 5
Publisher Acumen Publishing
Place of Publication Balmain, N.S.W.
Keyword(s) philosophy
twentieth-century philosophy
Summary In many respects Merleau-Ponty is the unknown man of the twentieth century's major European philosophers. This is not to deny that he has been widely read and influential – in fact, there is good reason to agree with Paul Ricoeur that he was the greatest of the French phenomenologists – but simply to observe that his life and personality have not been examined, some might say fetishized, in the manner that might be expected for a French academic philosopher of significant public repute. Certainly, he did not initially receive the same amount of attention as his contemporaries and sometimes friends, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. He has not had biographies written about him as they have, nor had photographic diaries and movies devoted to him, as have Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida, and he never courted the media in the manner of, say, Sartre, and more recently, Bernard-Henri Lévy. In fact, the life of Merleau-Ponty and the force of his personality remain something of a mystery. He seems to personify what Heidegger is reputed to have said of Aristotle: that he lived, he worked, and he died, and that was all that needed to be said about the relation between a philosopher and their biography. On the other hand, perhaps this mystery and this anonymity that surround Merleau-Ponty partly reveal his personality. At least according to Sartre's remarkable, heartfelt eulogy, “Merleau-Ponty Vivant” (Stewart 1998), one never felt wholly familiar with Merleau-Ponty.
ISBN 9781844654024
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/UPO9781844654024.001
Field of Research 220310 Phenomenology
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category B2.1 Book chapter in non-commercially published book
ERA Research output type X Not reportable
Copyright notice ©2013, The Author
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30089611

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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