M. Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

Course Information
TitleΜ. Μερλώ-Ποντύ, Φαινομενολογία της αντίληψης / M. Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception
CodeΦΣΜ 123
SchoolPhilosophy and Education
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
CoordinatorDimitrios Athanasakis
Course ID600014169

Programme of Study: PPS Philosophy

Registered students: 23
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
History of PhilosophyElective CoursesWinter/Spring-10
Systematic PhilosophyMandatory Elective CoursesWinter/Spring-10

Class Information
Academic Year2017 – 2018
Class PeriodSpring
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours36
Class ID
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Examination)
  • French (Examination)
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an international context
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Design and manage projects
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Respect natural environment
  • Demonstrate social, professional and ethical commitment and sensitivity to gender issues
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
«What is phenomenology? It may seem strange that this question has still to be asked half a century after the first works of Husserl. The fact remains that it has by no means been answered. Phenomenology is the study of essences; and according to it, all problems amount to finding definitions of essences: the essence of perception, or the essence of consciousness, for example. But phenomenology is also a philosophy which puts essences back into existence, and does not expect to arrive at an understanding of man and the world from any starting point other than that of their ‘facticity’. It is a transcendental philosophy which places in abeyance the assertions arising out of the natural attitude, the better to understand them; but it is also a philosophy for which the world is always ‘already there’ before reflection begins – as an inalienable presence; and all its efforts are concentrated upon re-achieving a direct and primitive contact with the world, and endowing that contact with a philosophical status», M. Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, translated by C. Smith, London and New York, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962, p. vii. This postgraduate course examines some central notions of Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology, such as the return to phenomena, body and one’s own body, the world as perceived and the lived space, being-for-itself and being-in-the world, temporality and freedom. The main objective is to lay emphasis on the novelty of phenomenology compared to classical rationalism. According to Merleau-Ponty, who offers a critical reassessment of subjectivity and Cartesian Cogito (see Phenomenology of Perception, Part III, chapter 1), my ‘total being’ is nothing but a ‘psychological and historical structure’, a ‘certain significance of nature and history’. Therefore, it should be understood in terms of exteriority rather than in terms of interiority: ‘I am from the start outside myself and open to the world’, ibid., p. 530.
Phenomenology, Perception, Intersubjectivity, Body, Natural World, Human World, Consciousness, Temporality, Freedom
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Multimedia
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
  • Use of ICT in Student Assessment
Course Organization
Reading Assigment753
Written assigments502
Student Assessment
Final written exam. Dissertation.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Formative, Summative)
  • Written Assignment (Formative, Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative, Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
Μερλώ-Ποντύ M., Φαινομενολογία της αντίληψης, μτφρ. Κ. Καψαμπέλη, Αθήνα, Νήσος, 2016 [Phénoménologie de la perception, Paris, Gallimard, 1945]. Baldwin T., Reading Merleau-Ponty: On Phenomenology of Perception, London and New York, Routledge, 2007. Barbaras R., De l’être au phénomène. Sur l’ontologie de Merleau-Ponty, Paris, Millon, 1993. ― Le tournant de l’expérience: Recherches sur la philosophie de Merleau-Ponty, Paris, Vrin, 1998. Carman T., Merleau-Ponty, London and New York, Routledge, 2008. Carman T., Hansen M. B. N. (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 2005. Courtine J.-F., La cause de la phénoménologie, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2007. Dastur F., La phénoménologie en questions. Langage, altérité, temporalité, finitude, Paris, Vrin, 2004. Desanti J.-T., Introduction à la phénoménologie, Paris, Gallimard, 1994. Hass L., Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 2008. Jacobson K., Russon J. (eds.), Perception and its development in Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology, Toronto, Buffalo, London, University of Toronto Press, 2017. Janicaud D., La phénoménologie dans tous ses états, Paris, Gallimard, 2009. Marion J.-L., Étant donné. Essai d’une phénoménologie de la donation, 4e éd. revue et augmentée, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2013 (1e éd., 1997). ― Reprise du donné, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2016. Romano C., L’événement et le monde, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1998. ― Il y a, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2003. ― Au cœur de la raison, la phénoménologie, Paris, Gallimard, 2010. Saint Aubert E. de, Le scénario cartésien: Recherches sur la formation et la cohérence de l’intention philosophique de Merleau-Ponty, Paris, Vrin, 2005. Schmidt J., Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Between phenomenology and structuralism, London, Macmillan, 1985.
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