Volume 11, Issue 2, 2008
The Political Action of Thinking
On Merleau-Ponty and Bourdieu’s Interventions
By looking at the manner in which Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Pierre Bourdieu have sought to understand the political nature of their work and explained their interventions in political affairs, this article defines the action they saw as possible and necessary for intellectuals. As it can only involve others, this action can take the form of dialogue and explanation or of a collective intellectual. In the texts where they reflect on their political involvement outside of parties and government, both authors assert the impossibility to evade politics. By comparing their positions, we begin to develop a critical phenomenology.