Phenomenology and the Social World
The Philosophy of Merleau-Ponty and its Relation to the Social Sciences
Routledge – 1977 – 224 pages
The term ‘phenomenology’ has become almost as over-used and emptied of meaning as that other word from Continental Philosophy, namely ‘existentialism’. Yet Husserl, who first put forward the phenomenological method, considered it a rigorous alternative to positivism, and in the hands of Merleau-Ponty, a disciple of Husserl in France, phenomenology became a way of gaining a disciplined and coherent perspective on the world in which we live.
When this study originally published in 1977 there were only a few books in English on Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy. It introduced the reader and suggested how his thought might throw light on some of the assumptions and presuppositions of certain contemporary forms of Anglo-Saxon philosophy and social science. It also demonstrates how phenomenology seeks to unite philosophy and social science, rather than define them as mutually exclusive domains of knowledge.
Preface Introduction 1. The Programme of Existential Phenomenology 2. Speech 3. Society 4. Marxism 5. Ethics 6. Philosophy 7. Conclusion