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The body schema in the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty: critical development of the concept. Stage III: Merleau-Ponty at the College de France

Grant number: 11/13379-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): December 21, 2011
Effective date (End): February 20, 2012
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Fundamentals and Assessments in Psychology
Principal researcher:Danilo Saretta Verissimo
Grantee:Danilo Saretta Verissimo
Host: Étienne Bimbenet
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil
Research place: Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), France  


The goal is a longitudinal study of how Merleau-Ponty uses the notion of body schema, especially the role the critical development of this notion plays in the passage from the initial phase of his work, marked by a descriptive archeological nature and based on the idea of incarnation, to the phase in which a new ontology starts to be openly sketched based on the notion of flesh. This research is divided in three steps, the first two of which have already been accomplished. The first is the study of the body schema notion in the Phenomenology of perception, the book published in 1945. The second refers to the presence of the body schema notion in the intermediary period of Merleau-Ponty's work, especially in his child psychology courses at the Sorbonne, which takes us to 1952. The third phase is the period when Merleau-Ponty taught at the Collège de France, between 1953 and 1961, the year of his death. Regarding that period, part of the material on the body schema notion is spread across a large volume of work and reading notes, part of which have not been published yet. With a view to continuing our research in a strict and systematic way, we also intend to consult the philosopher's unedited material, stored at the Bibliotèque Nationale de France, in Paris. We are more specifically interested in examining: a) the work notes for the course entitled Le monde sensible et le monde de l'expression, offered in 1953; b) the work notes from 1959 and 1960, which discuss the topological space as defined by Piaget and Inhelder in La répresentation de l'espace chez l'enfant. Therefore, we are applying for a two-month foreign research grant. (AU)

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