By Ted Toadvine
Routledge – 2004 – 1,600 pages
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) has been hailed by many as the greatest French thinker of the twentieth century. As one of the founding members of the existentialist movement in the 1940s, he played a key role in introducing the work of Husserl and Heidegger into French thought and collaborated with Jean-Paul Sartre in the founding of Les Temps Modernes. His later work laid the foundation for the development of French thought in the direction of post-structuralism and post-modernism.
Merleau-Ponty: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers gathers together the best critical writing on Merleau-Ponty’s work from the last half century. The collection includes early reviews of his work and the reactions of his contemporaries both during and after his life. Also covered are examinations of his relationship with Husserl, Sartre and the phenomenological tradition, investigations of key themes from his work on ontology, expression and politics, and the ongoing application of his thinking to such contemporary areas of interest as feminist theory, psychology and child development, environmental philosophy and cognitive science.
Volume I Part I: Critical Responses and Interpretations by Merleau-Ponty’s Contemporaries Part II: Merleau-Ponty’s Relation to the Phenomenological Tradition Volume II Part III: Perception and Ontology Part IV: Expression, Art, and Language Volume III Part V: Ethics and Politics Part VI: Merleau-Ponty’s Relation to Feminist Philosophy Volume IV Part VII: Nature and the Environment Part VIII: Psychology, Psychoanalysis, and Child Development Part IX: Embodiment and Cognition