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Continental Realism and Its Discontents$
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Marie-Eve Morin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421140

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421140.001.0001

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Merleau-Ponty and the Challenge of Realism, or How (Not) to Go beyond Phenomenology

Merleau-Ponty and the Challenge of Realism, or How (Not) to Go beyond Phenomenology

(p.137) Chapter 7 Merleau-Ponty and the Challenge of Realism, or How (Not) to Go beyond Phenomenology
Continental Realism and Its Discontents

Marie-Eve Morin

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter seeks to demonstrate both the strengths and the limits of phenomenology when faced with the new realists’ challenge. The first part focuses on the Husserlian phenomenological method and shows that once the role of the reduction and the relation between evidence and motivation are properly understood, phenomenology leads to a form of what Lee Braver has called ‘transgressive realism’. The second part shows that the trajectory of Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy out of phenomenology, as well as his development of a dimension of depth or latency, provide us with an ‘outside’ akin to Meillassoux’s ‘hyperchaos’ or Harman’s ‘inner life of objects’, but one that need not be completely detached from the world or from experience to maintain its integrity or exteriority. As a result, Merleau-Ponty’s position avoids the problems of motivation and modesty detailed in the first part.

Keywords:   Keywords: Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Meillassoux, Harman, realism, phenomenology, reduction, depth

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