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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the trajectory of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s views on psychoanalysis and the Freudian unconscious. It begins with a discussion of Merleau-Ponty’s first reading of Sigmund Freud by way of The Structure of Behavior, his development of a full description of perceptual consciousness in the Phenomenology of Perception, and his interpretation of the Freudian unconscious as the ambiguity of operative intentionality or perceptual consciousness. The chapter goes on to consider Merleau-Ponty’s lectures as Professor of Psychology at the Sorbonne from 1949 to 1952, the criticisms hurled against his early work, and his relationship with Jacques Lacan. It also examines themes from Merleau-Ponty’s lectures at the Collège de France between 1951 until his death, along with two of his posthumous writings: The Visible and the Invisible, and a Preface to L’Oeuvre de Freud et son Importance pour la Monde, a book on Freud by psychoanalyst Angelo Hesnard.

Keywords: Maurice Merleau-Ponty, psychoanalysis, Freudian unconscious, perceptual consciousness, Jacques Lacan, phenomenology

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