The Primacy of Perception

Cloth Text – $29.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-0165-4
Format Unavailable

Paper Text – $27.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-0164-7
Publication Date
June 1964
Page Count
228 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

The Primacy of Perception

And Other Essays on Phenomenological Psychology, the Philosophy of Art, History and Politics
Maurice Merleau-Ponty

The Primacy of Perception brings together a number of important studies by Maurice Merleau-Ponty that appeared in various publications from 1947 to 1961. The title essay, which is in essence a presentation of the underlying thesis of his Phenomenology of Perception, is followed by two courses given by Merleau-Ponty at the Sorbonne on phenomenological psychology. "Eye and Mind" and the concluding chapters present applications of Merleau-Ponty's ideas to the realms of art, philosophy of history, and politics. Taken together, the studies in this volume provide a systematic introduction to the major themes of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy.

About the Author

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Karl Marx, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Heidegger in addition to being closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre (who later stated he had been "converted" to Marxism by Merleau-Ponty ) and Simone de Beauvoir. At the core of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy is a sustained argument for the foundational role that perception plays in understanding the world as well as engaging with the world. Like the other major phenomenologists, Merleau-Ponty expressed his philosophical insights in writings on art, literature, linguistics, and politics.

"The Primacy of Perception... ranges all the way from questions of epistemology, methodology, and phenomenological psychology to matters of art, history, and politics."  —Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

"Thus Merleau-Ponty's major work, in which he expounds his central conception of human nature, is entitled The Phenomenology of Perception, and is in large part an attempt to delineate the way in which our body and our surroundings are present to us as we go about our commerce with the world, before we have developed some secondary theory (for example, empiricism, neo- Kantianism) about the way they should appear." —The Philosophical Review