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Das unterschlagene Erbe

Merleau-Pontys Beitrag zur Praxistheorie

Prinz, Sophia

Phänomenologische Forschungen, Bd. 2017 (2017), Iss. 2: S. 76–91

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Prinz, Sophia


Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of the body has so far been widely neglected in the debate on practice theory. This failure is surprising considering Merleau-Ponty’s early contribution of a number of fundamental insights – including bodily practice as a theoretical basic unit, the priority of “practical sense” and “implicit knowledge” over consciousness, and the collectivity of practice. The article addresses these approaches in detail, examining them relative to corresponding concepts from Bourdieu and Foucault. It turns out that both theorists owe more to their teacher than they were willing to admit. Revisiting Merlau-Ponty also offers the opportunity to both supplement practice theoretical vocabulary with the aspect of implicit perceptual knowledge and refine it with regard to the question of individual deviation from order.