Merleau-Ponty and Structuralism

Acta Structuralica Special Issue no 2

Edited by Beata Stawarska (University of Oregon) and Patrick Flack (Central-European Institute of Philosophy, Prague)

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) was without a doubt a philosopher belonging to the phenomenological movement who entertained the closest and most productive ties with structuralism. From his early interest in Gestalt psychology and his discovery of Saussure’s structural linguistics to his lifelong friendship with the structuralist anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss and his often overlooked influence on the founder of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, one notes multiple and crucially significant points of contact between Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy and structuralist and post-structuralist thought. Merleau-Ponty’s untimely death in 1961 and his absence from the highly polemical and influential debates between the French structuralists and the « existential » or « hermeneutical » phenomenologists (Ricoeur, Sartre) undoubtedly contributed to an institutionalized antagonism between the traditions of phenomenology and structuralism (and post-structuralism); it also limited scholarly interest in the structuralist dimension of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy since the latter emerges as an accident or an anomaly on the antagonistic view. This issue seeks to trouble the purported divide between phenomenology and structuralism (and post-structuralism), and to bring overdue attention to the structuralist inheritance and the post-structuralist potential of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy.

Call for Papers

Please find the CFP here


Issue Editors: Beata Stawarska or Patrick Flack.

Journal Editor: Simone Aurora