Institution and Passivity is based on course notes for classes Merleau-Ponty taught at the Collège de France. Philosophically, this collection connects the issue of passive constitution of meaning with the dimension of history, furthering discussions and completing arguments started in The Visible and the Invisible and Signs, both published by Northwestern. Leonard Lawlor and Heath Massey's translation makes available in English a critical transitional text in the development of Merleau-Ponty's later thought and in the history of phenomenology.
Traditionally in phenomenology, the formation of sense was attributed to the active process of bestowing meaning through consciousness-the process of constitution. Husserl and Merleau-Ponty made pioneering efforts to show how sense, prior to constitution, is also instituted, a process Husserl refers to as Stiftung (institution). This process is historical, appearing in the domains of life, feeling, art, knowledge, and culture. It involves the activity and passivity not only of consciousness but also of the lived body, which is the subject of sleep, dreams, delusions, and memory. Merleau-Ponty's research into these topics thus deepens his study of Husserl and others, including Lévi-Strauss, Sartre, Freud, and Proust. Institution and Passivity connects the process of institution with the dimension of history and hence "institutions" in the sociohistorical sense, turning toward an ontology of the perceived world in which present meanings are intertwined with pastness.
|Publisher:||Northwestern University Press|
|Series:||Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961), along with Sartre, introduced phenomenology to France. nHe held the chair of Child Psychology and Pedagogy at the University of the Sorbonne, which was later held by Jean Piaget. He then became professor of philosophy at the Collège de France.
Leonard Lawlor is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. He previously translated Merleau-Ponty’s Husserl at the Limits of Phenomenology for Northwestern University Press.
Heath Massey is an assistant professor of philosophy at Beloit College.
Table of Contents
Foreword Claude Lefort ix
Editor's Note to the French Edition xxxiii
Translators' Note xxxv
Part 1 Institution in Personal and Public History
Institution and Life 16
Institution of a Feeling 28
The Institution of a Work of Art 41
Institution of a Domain of Knowledge 50
The Field of Culture 58
Historical Institution: Particularity and Universality 62
Summary for Thursday's Course: Institution in Personal and Public History 76
Endnotes for the Course on Institution 80
Part 2 The Problem of Passivity: Sleep, the Unconscious, Memory
Philosophy and the Phenomenon of Passivity 117
For an Ontology of the Perceived World 133
Perceptual Consciousness and Imagining Consciousness 146
The Freudian Unconscious 162
Delusions: Gradiva 170
The Case of Dora 177
The Problem of Memory 191
Appendix: Three Notes on the Freudian Unconscious 199
Summary for Monday's Course: The Problem of Passivity: Sleep, the Unconscious, Memory 206
Reading Notes on Proust 210
Reading Notes on Freud 216
Endnotes for the Course on Passivity 233
Bibliography of Texts Relevant to the Courses on Institution and Passivity 253