Psychology and Ontology in the Philosophy of Merleau-Ponty

By Andrés Pérrez-Carrasco.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 7, 2014 $US5.00

This paper discusses the role played by Gestalt psychology in the philosophical work of Merleau-Ponty from his earliest work to his latest essay. I will stress the many different aspects of Gestalt that Merleau-Ponty took great pains to thematize in "The Phenomenology of Perception" and especially "The Structure of Behavior." Even though it gradually disappeared from his vocabulary as Merleau-Ponty became aware of the shortcomings in this psychology, I will argue that the notion of the Gestalt had an ongoing performative influence on his further discoveries as his explicit mention of that theory was displaced by the emergence of new terminology. That Gestalt theory figured seriously throughout the evolution of his philosophy as a unifying theme is most evident, perhaps, in his posthumously published notes

Keywords: Philosophy, Phenomenology, Aesthetics

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 11, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.29-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 7, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 448.221KB)).

Andrés Pérrez-Carrasco

Teaching Adjunct, Philosophy Department, University of Massachusetts Boston, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA

I have a BA in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain, and a Masters in Philosophy from Boston College. I graduated with a PhD in Philosophy from Boston College in 2012 and defended my dissertation on Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Art, Gestalt and Reversibility. I have taught Philosophy at Boston College, and I am currently teaching courses in Philosophy, Critical Thinking, Philosophy of Religion, Existentialism and Ethics in the Boston area at Merrimack College, The University of Massachusetts, and Cambridge College. I also teach Advanced Drawing and Art History at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.