Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological notion of motivation advances a compelling alternative to the empiricist and rationalist assumptions that underpin modern epistemology.
Arguing that knowledge is ultimately founded in perceptual experience, Peter Antich interprets and defends Merleau-Ponty’s thinking on motivation as the key to establishing a new form of epistemic grounding. Upending the classical dichotomy between reason and natural causality, justification and explanation, Antich shows how this epistemic ground enables Merleau-Ponty to offer a radically new account of knowledge and its relation to perception. In so doing, Antich demonstrates how and why Merleau-Ponty remains a vital resource for today’s epistemologists.
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Part I. Defining the Account
1 Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Motivation
2 The Primacy of Perception
Part II. Defending the Account
3 Empirical Judgments
4 Universal and A Priori Judgments
5 Perceptual Faith
Part III. Motivation and Pure Reason
6 Transcendental Justification
7 Metaphysical Judgments and Self-Consciousness
“Antich’s book demonstrates the difference made to epistemological debates and perplexities when we understand perception as motivating knowledge. It does this with great lucidity and insight, enriched by examples drawn from empirical studies, literature and art—all of which make for a compelling read. Because of its clarity and its commendable development of Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of perceptual motivation, it will be very useful not only to scholars but also to graduate students and senior undergraduates in philosophy.”
“An erudite and seminal contribution to phenomenology studies, Motivation and the Primacy of Perception must be considered as a core and unreservedly recommended addition to college and university library contemporary philosophy collections and epistemic supplemental studies. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that [the title] is also readily available in a digital book format.” — Midwest Book Review