Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (1908–61)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD045-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 23, 2024, from

1. Life

Merleau-Ponty studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, graduating in 1930. As a student he was quickly drawn towards the works of the German phenomenologists, having attended Husserl’s 1929 lectures in Paris (the ‘Cartesian Meditations’) and studied Heidegger’s writings (see Husserl, E.; Heidegger, M.). He wrote his first book, The Structure of Behavior, before serving briefly in the French Army in 1939–40. During the German Occupation he taught at the Lycée Carnot in Paris and wrote his major work, The Phenomenology of Perception, which was published in 1945. In the same year he took a position at the University of Lyon, before returning to Paris in 1950 as Professor of Psychology at the Sorbonne; in 1952 he moved to the prestigious Chair of Philosophy at the Collège de France, a position which he held until his early and unexpected death in 1961.

Citing this article:
Baldwin, Thomas. Life. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (1908–61), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD045-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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