An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty by William S. Hamrick

By William S. Hamrick

The following pages try and increase the most outlines of an existential phenomenology of legislation in the context of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phe­ nomenology of the social international. In so doing, the essay addresses the relatively slim scholarly query, If Merleau-Ponty had written a phenomenology of legislations, what wouldn't it have gave the look of? yet this scholarly firm, even supposing impeccable in itself, is usually transcended by means of a extra complex situation for a really assorted type of query. specifically, if Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological descriptions of the social international are correct-as i think they principally are-then what are the philosophical results for an enough figuring out of legislations? this kind of undertaking might social gathering a definite shock among observers of the modern philosophical panorama, at the least in what matters the terrain of continental proposal, and for 2 assorted purposes. the 1st is that, even supposing curiosity in Merleau-Ponty's paintings continues to be robust within the· usa and will­ ada, his philosophical status in his personal state has been principally eclipsed! by way of that of, first, his friend/estranged acquaintance, Jean-Paul Sartre; by means of numerous Marxist philosophies and important social theories; and at last through these doing her­ meneutics of language. in my opinion, present overlook of Merleau-Ponty's suggestion in France is so much regrettable.

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Extra resources for An Existential Phenomenology of Law: Maurice Merleau-Ponty

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It is only the most important of these systems. "'16 As a grammatical system, la langue is a form of social order, an integral part of the social structure by means of which intersubjectivity becomes a living reality. 2), it also has a historical depth because it forms part of the context of sedimented meanings we take up and appropriate in our everyday lives. As a result, de Saussure could underscore the fact that, as Merleau-Ponty repeated in virtually the same words, la langue is "a treasure deposited by the practice of la parole in subjects belonging to the same community, a grammatical system ...

3), Merleau-Ponty was very much inclined to Marxist criticisms of such societies in stressing the difference between formal and real values, and one way of phrasing this criticism in the present context is to indict such societies for hypocritical appeals to the harmony and peace of a non-violent society-in the sense of community-whilst the economic side of society-in which are to be found paradigm examples of associations-rested on violence and exploitation. Certainly in this kind of environment, fourth, Merleau-Ponty would be led to stress much more the conflicts oflndividual interests than he would a (misleading and false) collective consciousness.

Thus society itself, which emerges from the mesh of intersubjective relationships, is neither a set of purely spatial, physical relationships as exist between things (see the Introduction above)-nor an ensemble of wholly subjective meanings founded on understanding the other. Rather, social relationships which form bases for interaction. are themselves, as Levi-Strass pointed out, structures simultaneously subjective and objective. Thus, for example, the roles and status of members of society constitute such structures because roles are neither purely subjective conceptions nor are reducible to the objective profile of what the individuals whose roles they are usually do.

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