By William S. Hamrick
The following pages try to improve the most outlines of an existential phenomenology of legislation in the context of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phe nomenology of the social international. In so doing, the essay addresses the relatively slim scholarly query, If Merleau-Ponty had written a phenomenology of legislations, what wouldn't it have gave the impression of? yet this scholarly firm, even supposing impeccable in itself, is additionally transcended by way of a extra complex quandary for a really diverse type of query. specifically, if Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological descriptions of the social global are correct-as i feel they mostly are-then what are the philosophical results for an sufficient figuring out of legislation? this type of venture may possibly get together a definite shock among observers of the modern philosophical panorama, at the very least in what matters the terrain of continental notion, and for 2 varied purposes. the 1st is that, even supposing curiosity in Merleau-Ponty's paintings is still powerful within the· usa and will ada, his philosophical status in his personal kingdom has been mostly eclipsed! via that of, first, his friend/estranged acquaintance, Jean-Paul Sartre; by way of a variety of Marxist philosophies and important social theories; and at last via these doing her meneutics of language. for my part, present overlook of Merleau-Ponty's suggestion in France is so much regrettable.
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Extra info for An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty
That is, freedom is already present in the most basic level of perceptual life as a spontaneous, nondetermined structuring of a perceptual field. It is continually elaborated, sometimes deepened and not infrequently frustrated, across many kinds of experiences in the social world-from freedom of styles of bodily expression in manifesting one's individuality, through the liberty of creative linguistic expression, to freedom of thought and conscience in higher-order intellectual projects. Liberty, at whatever level, neither emerges from, nor operates in, a vacuum apart from the circumambient world and other people.
Taking into account, therefore, Merleau-Ponty's ultimate rejection of structuralism as well as the fact that he never disavowed the dialectical relationships between la langue and la parole, once disentangled from the additional baggage of claims about a depth grammar and an ideal language, all subsequent references to de Saussure's work in the following pages will be restricted to what Merleau-Ponty found acceptable in it. Structure therefore may be kept and preserved as essential to the phenomena which define the social world, even if structuralism is not.
The philosophical significance of Gestalt psychology is, then, to show us that, as described above in the Introduction, not only the incarnate cogito, but also the perceived world as such, is a "third genus of being" uniting-and, at the same time, transcending-subjectivity and objectivity in a more primordial form or structure. Thus Gestalt psychology, "in revealing 'structure' or 'form' as an irreducible element of being . . again places in question the classical alternative of 'existence as a thing' and 'existence as consciousness,' it establishes a communication between them as a melange of the objective and the subjective" (SNS 150-51).