Module Details for the Academic Year 2018/2019

PHIL40250 Merleau-Ponty

This module comprises a close reading of Phenomenology of Perception, one of the most significant treatments of philosophy of perception in the European tradition. Merleau-Ponty offers a sustained critique of the portrait view of perception and argues that the embodied perceiver must actively appropriate and organise the perceptible environment as a condition of having a world. We begin with his
initial adaptation of phenomenology, and proceed to outline his arguments against objectivism as found in the empiricist and intellectualist approaches to perception. Merleau-Ponty's proposed alternative founded on phenomenological description will then be explicated in detail. Topics to be covered include perceptual synthesis, the body as objectified, as lived and as anonymous, the role of kinaesthetic awareness, proprioceptive awareness and the body-schema, the motor-intentional projection of action and the perceptual field.

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A clear and detailed comprehension of the most salient ideas from the Phenomenology of Perception, in particular those from the Introduction and Part One. An ability to relate these ideas to the philosophical traditions of empiricism and intellectualism that they develop on and criticise. An understanding of the shortcomings and of the strengths and contemporary relevance of Merleau-Pontys philosophy of the embodied perceiver, with particular reference to perception in action and enactivism.  
Item Workload


Autonomous Student Learning




Description % of Final Grade Timing
Essay: 3,500 word essay


Coursework (End of Semester)


This module is not passable by compensation

Resit Opportunities

In-semester assessment


If you fail this module you may repeat, resit or substitute where permissible

Module Requisites and Incompatibles

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Prior Learning

Curricular information is subject to change