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date: 26 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers Merleau-Ponty’s conception of the relation between science and his phenomenology. It sketches one line of thought from his work that uses ideas he takes from Gestalt psychology to argue that science and phenomenology are fundamentally the same sort of investigation. They may employ different concepts to characterize their data and results. They may also investigate different things—a scientist may investigate the effects of climate change on our weather systems; a phenomenologist may inquire into the structure of time consciousness. Yet, even though these investigations are directed at different things, viewed at a certain level of generality, what it is they are discovering and how they are doing so, is the same. Moreover, Merleau-Ponty holds that the different concepts they employ and the different objects they investigate are not essential differences between science and phenomenology. For Merleau-Ponty, therefore, science and phenomenology are “continuous.”

Keywords: science, phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty, Gestalt, essences

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