“Wambacq’s book breaks new ground in scholarship on Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty, and Continental philosophy in general. Well written, well organized, lucid, and insightful, it will open new lines of scholarly investigation.”
David Morris, author of The Sense of Space
“Thinking between Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty provides us with the most complete comparison of the two philosophers’ thought. This is an impressive investigation. It brings forth a Deleuze and a Merleau-Ponty that we have not seen before: a Merleau-Ponty devoted to immanence and a Deleuze who is a genuine transcendental philosopher. Both Merleau-Ponteans and Deleuzians will come away from this study having seen something new.”
Leonard Lawlor, Sparks Professor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University
Thinking between Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty is the first book-length examination of the relation between these two major thinkers of the twentieth century. Questioning the dominant view that the two have little of substance in common, Judith Wambacq brings them into a compelling dialogue to reveal a shared, historically grounded concern with the transcendental conditions of thought. Both Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze propose an immanent ontology, differing more in style than in substance. Wambacq’s synthetic treatment is nevertheless critical; she identifies the limitations of each thinker’s approach to immanent transcendental philosophy and traces its implications—through their respective relationships with Bergson, Proust, Cézanne, and Saussure—for ontology, language, artistic expression, and the thinking of difference. Drawing on primary texts alongside current scholarship in both French and English, Thinking between Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty is comprehensive and rigorous while remaining clear, accessible, and lively. It is certain to become the standard text for future scholarly discussion of these two major influences on contemporary thought.
Judith Wambacq is a visiting professor in the School of Arts at University College Ghent. She has written extensively on poststructuralism and phenomenology, art, and French culture and has translated several texts by the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler into Dutch. More info →
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Phenomenology has played a decisive role in the emergence of the discourse of place, and the contribution of Merleau-Ponty to architectural theory and practice is well established. This collection of essays by 12 eminent scholars is the first devoted specifically to developing his contribution to our understanding of place and architecture.
While there have been many essays devoted to comparing the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty with that of Jacques Derrida, there has been no sustained book-length treatment of these two French philosophers. Additionally, many of the essays presuppose an oppositional relationship between them, and between phenomenology and deconstruction more generally.