By William S. Hamrick
The following pages try to strengthen the most outlines of an existential phenomenology of legislation in the context of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phe nomenology of the social global. In so doing, the essay addresses the particularly slender scholarly query, If Merleau-Ponty had written a phenomenology of legislations, what wouldn't it have gave the impression of? yet this scholarly firm, even though impeccable in itself, is additionally transcended through a extra complex problem for a really various type 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 effects for an sufficient realizing of legislation? this type of undertaking may perhaps celebration a definite shock among observers of the modern philosophical panorama, no less than in what issues the terrain of continental inspiration, and for 2 diverse purposes. the 1st is that, even though curiosity in Merleau-Ponty's paintings is still robust within the· usa and will ada, his philosophical status in his personal nation has been mostly eclipsed! by means of that of, first, his friend/estranged acquaintance, Jean-Paul Sartre; via quite a few Marxist philosophies and important social theories; and eventually by means of these doing her meneutics of language. in my opinion, present overlook of Merleau-Ponty's idea in France is so much regrettable.
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Extra info for An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty
3. The Bonds of Language: Communication and Structure Merleau-Ponty's consideration of language is also situated within the framework of discerning both the commonalities and differences in intersubjective experience, although in ways that eventually surprised even himself and led to a decisive turning point in his philosophizing. His earliest writings on language, in both La Structure du comportement and Phenomimologie de la perception, INTERSUBJECTIVITY 33 develop a theory of meaning in relation to bodily gestures.
Merleau-Ponty was most particularly interested in this dialectical relationship between la langue and la parole, in which the former funds the latter with structure whilst the latter sediments new meanings which accumulate in the former. They are two aspects of the same concrete whole, and neither ultimately can be understood without the other. From the point of view of intersubjectivity, they give us different perspectives in that la langue is a form of social order providing a kind of cohesion for at least the majority of a particular society, whilst la parole shows us more individually and more dynamically how incarnate cogitos constitute what is perhaps the most important dimension of the life-world.
Thus, on Merleau-Ponty's view, as in many other holistic accounts, society is not a whole in the way that a machine is the sum of its parts-say, as a clock is the sum of its wheels, levers, and gears. It is, rather, a Gestalt whole, the individual "parts" of which are-as described above-interdependent rather than independent. Such a Gestalt whole, therefore, cannot be understood by analysis INTERSUBJECTIVITY 31 in the way that a chemical compound can be broken down to its constituent parts or as a machine can be disassembled.
An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty by William S. Hamrick