By William S. Hamrick
The following pages try and strengthen the most outlines of an existential phenomenology of legislations in the context of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phe nomenology of the social global. In so doing, the essay addresses the quite slim scholarly query, If Merleau-Ponty had written a phenomenology of legislations, what wouldn't it have seemed like? yet this scholarly firm, even though impeccable in itself, can also be transcended by way of a extra advanced quandary for a really varied kind of query. particularly, if Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological descriptions of the social global are correct-as i feel they principally are-then what are the philosophical outcomes for an sufficient knowing of legislations? any such venture may perhaps celebration a definite shock among observers of the modern philosophical panorama, a minimum of in what issues the terrain of continental proposal, and for 2 assorted purposes. the 1st is that, even supposing 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! by way of that of, first, his friend/estranged acquaintance, Jean-Paul Sartre; by way of a number of Marxist philosophies and significant social theories; and eventually by means of these doing her meneutics of language. in my opinion, present forget of Merleau-Ponty's suggestion in France is such a lot regrettable.
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The subsequent pages try to 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 appeared like?
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Extra info for An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty
In the dialectical movement between la parole and la langue, on MerleauPonty's view, words thus have less a fixed signification than a use-value. They have a value "in the sense in which one speaks of the value of a piece of change which one can use to pay for an infinite number of objects" (CAL 257). Thus, if life can be breathed into words and expressions and styles of speaking-if, in short, use values can be created-they can also be withdrawn. Use-values can atrophy and enter "into decadence by the sole fact that they have been used and have lost their 'expressivity'''; language is, consequently, "a moving equilibrium" (S 108).
This sense of "primordial," that is, being given in experience, is different from, but related to, the one under discussion here and which is invoked by de Waelhens above (note 3). 5. This claim about the inevitable futility of introspection should be considered together with Sartre's contentions that, for years, Merleau-Ponty engaged in serious and disciplined introspection, plumbing the depths of his own experiences and memories in an (unsuccessful) attempt to recapture the immediacy of his own childhood.
67. Edie, p. 69. Edie, p. 65. '" (pp. 64-65, citing "An Unpublished Text" at p. ) Edie, p. 66. II: HISTORY AND THE ORIGIN OF MEANING Philosophy, in Merleau-Ponty's view, always comprises a return "to an intersubjectivity which, ever more closely, binds us to the whole of history" (8 141). Accordingly, history is a subject with which Merleau-Ponty is concerned again and again throughout his works, from the earliest up to the very last writings. Across these texts, he is concerned to argue that history provides intersubjectivity with temporal depth by (i) furnishing a dimension of historicity to an individual consciousness, by (ii) anchoring our incarnate freedom in an established order of sedimented meanings, and finally by (iii) elaborating our relationships with others in the creation of truth, meaning, and rationality.
An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty by William S. Hamrick