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Born Today: Maurice Merleau-Ponty

1908-1961

Mind as that for which any world is a world. (Hunnex)

  • Co-editor of Les temps modernes with Sartre.
  • He asserted in a lecture given at Geneva that the 20th century established the marginalization of dualism by viewing mind as always associated with the body but is expressed through being a subject. In this he both agrees and disagrees with Sartre.
  • He rejected a purely physical reduction of the mind and was concerned to establish the body as both physical and spiritual
  • His work bears a similarity to Ryle's position in The Concept of Mind and wanted to establish the body as the locus of subjectivity.
  • The subject is a physical being who is in "dialogue" with the world and therefore cannot be reduced to a machine.
  • Sartre is in the tradition of modern existentialism whereas MP is in the tradition of modern phenomenology.

Today’s quote: “Human life [is] through and through mental and corporeal, always based upon the body and always (even in its most carnal modes) interested in relationships between persons.”

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