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Philosophy Today


published on August 28, 2019

Patrick Bourgeois, Robert Greenleaf Brice

Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty on the Pre-Reflective Level

The philosophies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maurice Merleau-Ponty may seem at first glance to be mutually exclusive. On further examination, however, they can be seen to share some fundamental points of view. For instance, they both share a common rejection of a modern mechanistic explanation of nature, and both endorse what we might call a pre-linguistic (pre-ratiocinative) level of meaning. In this paper, we show that these thinkers not only share some fundamental philosophical views, but also had, for many years, contemplated what cognitive scientists today call “embodied cognition.”

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