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Written between 1945 and 1947 the essays in Sense and Non Sense provide an excellent introduction to Merleau Ponty's thought They summarize his previous insights and exhibit their widest range of application in aesthetics ethics politics and the sciences of man Each essay opens new perspectives to man's search for reason The first part of Sense and Non Sense Arts is concerned with Merleau Ponty's concepts of perception which were advanced in his major philosophical treatise Phenomenology of Perception Here the analysis is focused and enriched in descriptions of the perceptual world of Cezanne the encounter with the Other as expressed in the novels of Simone de Beauvoir and Sartre and the gestalt uality of experience brought out in the film art form In the second part Ideas Merleau Ponty shows how the categories of the phenomenology of perception can be understood as an outgrowth of the behavioral sciences and how a model of existence based on perception sensitizes us to the insights and limitations of previous philosophies and suggests constructive criticisms of contemporary philosophy The third part Politics clarifies the political dilemmas facing intellectuals in postwar France


10 thoughts on “Sens et non-sens

  1. says:

    If you're not ready for the dense brilliance of The Phenomenology of Perception this would be a good entry into Merleau Ponty if you're familiar with and enjoy the essays of his bros Camus and Sartre These essays are far chattier and I'd hate to call them philosophy – they largely deal with art and culture and the issues of the day those are damn near useless nowadays though rehashing old feuds that are of minimal interest to the modern reader maybe even in France It was all enjoyable enough even if it didn't captivate me the way his hardcore philosophy did


  2. says:

    it was an awful experience This is a terribly written MP; unlike most of the other work this one is a selection of early essays among which most are non academic as well as poorly researched


  3. says:

    I first encountered Merleau Ponty's thought in Sarah Bakewell's excellent primer At the Existentialist Cafe I really liked a lot of what she highlighted and starting with this one seemed far less daunting than taking on Phenomenology of Perception I had mixed feelings There are some essays in here I thought were amazing A Scandalous Author and especially The War Has Taken Place but most felt too dated or specified for me They dealt with timely situations in a very timely way which is no fault of Merleau Ponty's but it still robs the content of the timelessness that for instance The War Has Taken Place has It's still interesting to see what people were thinking and the major debates about Marxism and existentialism in immediate post war France but I just found myself skimming often than not I'm interested in exploring some of his explicitly philosophical work and every essay had at least a few glimmers of eternal insight I was very thankful to take in


  4. says:

    Highlights were Cezanne's Doubt Metaphysics and the Novel A Scandalous Author The Battle Over Existentialism and The War Has Taken Place Found many of the other essays in this collection to drag Overall though Merleau Ponty presents many of the key aspects of his philosophy in these essays that are generally about other things so it makes for an interesting read


  5. says:

    140711 m p is always welcome this selection of three main topics captures thought of the times and breadth of application of his type of phenomenology Cezanne ‘s doubt makes me wonder what he thought of non realistic art as attempts to fix the non visual the abstract Metaphysics in man A scandalous author catch the era then The war has taken place is a sense of how one must live in the Occupation while the essays on Marxism theory and communist practice versus philosophy were also of the times when leftism was being co opted by communism


  6. says:

    A good collection of Merleau Ponty's essaysarticles from Les Temps Moderns


  7. says:

    There is a fantastic essay on Sartre in this book to paraphrase now and then the world should have to come face to face with a free man