The World of Perception
Routledge – 2008 – 96 pages
Series: Routledge Classics
'In simple prose Merleau-Ponty touches on his principle themes. He speaks about the body and the world, the coexistence of space and things, the unfortunate optimism of science – and also the insidious stickiness of honey, and the mystery of anger.' - James Elkins
Maurice Merleau-Ponty was one of the most important thinkers of the post-war era. Central to his thought was the idea that human understanding comes from our bodily experience of the world that we perceive: a deceptively simple argument, perhaps, but one that he felt had to be made in the wake of attacks from contemporary science and the philosophy of Descartes on the reliability of human perception.
From this starting point, Merleau-Ponty presented these seven lectures on The World of Perception to French radio listeners in 1948. Available in a paperback English translation for the first time in the Routledge Classics series to mark the centenary of Merleau-Ponty’s birth, this is a dazzling and accessible guide to a whole universe of experience, from the pursuit of scientific knowledge, through the psychic life of animals to the glories of the art of Paul Cézanne.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961). One of the century's leading phenomenologists and a founder, with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, of the journal Les Temps Modernes. He is the author of The Phenomenology of Perception (Routledge Classics, 2002).