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By William S. Hamrick

The following pages try and enhance 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 particularly slender scholarly query, If Merleau-Ponty had written a phenomenology of legislations, what would it not have gave the impression of? yet this scholarly company, even if impeccable in itself, is additionally transcended by way of a extra complex quandary for a truly assorted 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 outcomes for an enough figuring out of legislation? this sort of undertaking might celebration a definite shock among observers of the modern philosophical panorama, a minimum of in what matters the terrain of continental proposal, and for 2 varied purposes. the 1st is that, even if curiosity in Merleau-Ponty's paintings continues to be powerful within the· usa and will­ ada, his philosophical status in his personal nation has been principally eclipsed! through that of, first, his friend/estranged acquaintance, Jean-Paul Sartre; through a number of Marxist philosophies and demanding social theories; and eventually by way of these doing her­ meneutics of language. in my opinion, present overlook of Merleau-Ponty's suggestion in France is such a lot regrettable.

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The first asks about the sense of history or, in other words, about questions usually associated with the philosophy of history. The second investigation, however, concerns the appearance of meaning in history or, to turn it around, the role of history in the appearance ofsense. Additionally, Merleau-Ponty distinguishes "personal" from "public" history (RC 59). For the former, he confines his attention largely to Freudian inquiries into sexuality. In the context of public history, on the other hand, he examines a different ensemble of causal theories represented by Marx and subsequent Marxists who propounded political theories based on an economic determinism.

Then, as noted above in the Introduction, Merleau-Ponty proceeds to call this inter-corporeal reality "a lexicon of corporeity in general" (RC 178). A much more detailed and concrete picture of how the other is presented to me must take into account several levels of experience in addition to our most primordial perceptual life. In the latter, as we have already seen, the very structure of perceptual objectivity implies the existence of the other, since perceived objects are presented to me as publically available, as qualitatively distinct from the privacy of imagination or ideas.

Says that in a series of further studies which he has undertaken since 1945, and which will definitely fix the philosophical significance of the earlier works, he is turning to language .... ' There are then two tasks before him: (1) a theory of truth, and (2) a theory of intersubjectivity. These tasks will be achieved in two books on the theory of truth, namely, The Prose of the World and The Origin of Truth. He states clearly, even in this very preliminary study, what will turn out to be the major problem and ultimate stumbling-block of his whole investigation of language: 'Language leads us to a thought which is no longer ours alone, to a 36 THE SOCIAL WORLD thought which is presumptively universal, though this is never the universality of a pure concept which would be identical for every mind.

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