Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s multi-faceted body of work has allowed philosophers to explore the human experience of relations as well as the institutions, both formal and informal, that bind them together. By taking on his ideas in new directions and drawing on his concepts and reimagining of political philosophy broadly construed, they have explored notions such as coexistence, freedom, nature, ecology, intercultural relations, colonialism, emotions, and gender. This symposium will gather researchers from North America with expertise in the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty and a research program on contemporary political and social problems, as well as graduate students from their institutions and universities in the Prairies. To focus on exchange and discussion on each other’s work, papers will be exchanged ahead of time and workshopped. They will then be edited for publication in a cohesive multi-authored book.
This symposium will be the third in a series of three events around the political philosophy of Merleau-Ponty. The first two took place in Paris, at the Husserl Archives of the École Normale Supérieure. The first offered readings of political texts by Merleau-Ponty which often neglected and of his unpublished manuscripts, or readings that brought new light to his political ideas, while the second focused on the inspiration other political philosophers have drawn from Merleau-Ponty.