[SydPhil] Philosophy seminar, Friday 5th of October, Macquarie University

Paul Formosa pc.formosa at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 10:29:05 AEST 2012

The Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University is hosting a seminar
this Friday, the 5th of October, from 1:30-3:30pm, in Bld. W6A, room 127.
The  presenter will be Dr Michaela Baker from Macquarie University. Title
and abstract are below. All are welcome.

Title: '"Imaginative action": Reading Swift with Merleau-Ponty'

In his 'Translator's Introduction' to Merleau-Ponty's *Adventures of the
Dialectic*, Joseph Bien suggests that Merleau-Ponty's analyses and
criticisms of others' readings of Marxism perhaps open up the possibility
of looking at the role of culture, rather than the merely economic, in
people's relations both to humanity and to history. In this paper, I take
up this suggestion and suggest an application of it. My interest is not to
give a detailed examination of Merleau-Ponty's relation to and
interpretation of Marx, but to discuss and apply his ideas about meaning
and culture in history.  I begin by elaborating Merleau-Ponty's discussions
of  meaning in history in Part 3 Chapter 3 of *Phenomenology of
Perception*. I  then examine two aspects of  Merleau-Ponty's work (his
analysis of Weber in 'The Crisis of the Understanding' and his comments on
institutions in his *Lectures at the Collège de France 1952-1960*),
focusing particularly on the ways in which these discussions connect to his
earlier ideas about meaning in history and how they bring out the role of
culture. I close the paper with an examination of the way in which such
ideas about meaning and culture in history might be embodied, through an
analysis of Graham Swift's novel,*Waterland*.



Dr Paul Formosa
ARC DECRA Research Fellow
Department of Philosophy
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
E: Paul.Formosa at mq.edu.au

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