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Donald A. Landes
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This Old Firehouse
Powell's Bookstores, Chicago
When it was first published in France in 1945 as PhA(c)nomA(c)nologie de la Perception Maurice Merleau-Ponty was a relatively unknown philosopher, teaching at the University of Lyon in France. Since its publication and subsequent translation into many languages, Phenomenology of Perception is now hailed as a classic of Twentieth Century philosophy. This major new translation makes his most important work available to a new generation of readers.
Profound in both scope and detail, Phenomenology of Perception stands in the great phenomenological tradition of Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre. Yet Merleau-Ponty departs from the story told by his predecessors a " including Descartes - by arguing that philosophy has neglected a crucial dimension of lived experience: the role of the body.
Charting a bold course between the reductionism of science on the one hand and arid a intellectualisma (TM) on the other, he argues that we should regard the body not as a mere biological unit, but as the body with which one lives, experiences as onea (TM)s own, and which defines onea (TM)s situation within the world. Not only does this ground the faculties of sensation, perception and the experience of time but the very fabric of human existence, including sexuality, onea (TM)s relationship to others, speech, and human freedom.
A distinguishing feature of Merleau-Pontya (TM)s monumental study is the way it brings phenomenology to life, drawing on now famous examples including a brain-damaged patient from World War One, cases of synaesthesia, and hallucination. In so doing, Merleau-Ponty anticipates brilliantly subsequent developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and neuroscience where the body, having been relatively neglected, is now a central feature of research.
This new translation, the first for over forty years, includes many helpful features such as a comprehensive introduction to the text and essential notes explaining key terms of translation. References to recent literature are also included, helping to place Merleau-Pontya (TM)s classic work in the wider context of contemporary philosophy.
Also included is an introduction by Claude Lefort.
Translated by Donald A. Landes
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