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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Postgraduate Course: Phenomenology: Merleau-Ponty MSc (PHIL11153)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryBy focusing on the work of Merleau-Ponty, this course will introduce students to the philosophical movement of Phenomenology - an influential research programme that flourished in the early 20th century, and aimed to draw fundamental philosophical conclusions from careful consideration of the structures of experience and thought.

Shared with undergraduate course Phenomenology: Merleau-Ponty PHIL10158.

For courses co-taught with undergraduate students and with no remaining undergraduate spaces left, a maximum of 8 MSc students can join the course. Priority will be given to MSc students who wish to take the course for credit on a first come first served basis after matriculation.
Course description This course will introduce students to the 20th century philosophical movement of Phenomenology. Originating with the work of Edmund Husserl, Phenomenology attempts to ground substantive philosophical claims concerning metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and beyond, in a careful articulation of the ways in which our experience of the world is structured. After introducing Phenomenology via some key ideas from Husserl's work, the course will focus on Merleau-Ponty's influential 1945 work, Phenomenology of Perception. There, Merleau-Ponty argues that proper attention to the structures that characterize thought and experience reveals that we are fundamentally embodied creatures, and that this has important consequences for our understanding of mind, language, metaphysics and epistemology. After spending the majority of the course (weeks 2-8) exploring ideas and arguments of key sections of Phenomenology of Perception in detail, the final weeks of the course will consider how Merleau-Ponty applied his views to aesthetics and ethics, and how other thinkers such as Heidegger and Sartre pursued Husserl's research programme in different ways.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 175 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A 2500 word final essay [100%].

Word limit: 2750 words maximum (excluding references)
Feedback - tutorial discussions
- Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay by week 6 deadline on Turnitin via Learn. The essay cannot be draft of summative essay but it can be on the same topic.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate core skills in philosophy, including the ability to interpret and engage with philosophical texts, to evaluate arguments, and to develop one's own critical ideas in response.
  2. understand what is distinctive and important about Phenomenology as a method of philosophical inquiry.
  3. understand some key concepts in the work of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, including: protention, retention and the anticipatory structure of experience; motor intentionality; the lived body; 'empiricism' and 'intellectualism'
  4. reflect critically on the relationship between Merleau-Ponty's work and current work in cognitive science, philosophy of mind, epistemology and metaphysics
Reading List
Required text:
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice & Landes, Donald A. (2012). Phenomenology of Perception. Routledge.

Additional reading:
Romdenh-Romluc, Komarine (2011). Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception. Routledge.
Carman, Taylor (2007) Merleau-Ponty. Routeledge Dreyfus, Hubert (2005). Merleau-Ponty and recent cognitive science. In Taylor Carman & Mark B. N. Hansen (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty. Cambridge University Press.
Gardner, Sebastian, Merleau-Ponty's Transcendental Theory of
Goehr, Lydia (2005). Understanding the Engaged Philosopher:
On Politics, Philosophy, and Art. In Taylor Carman & Mark B. N. Hansen (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty. Cambridge University Press. 318--51.
Romdenh-Romluc, Komarine (2007). Merleau-ponty's account of hallucination. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):76-90.
Romdenh-Romluc, Komarine (2007). Merleau-Ponty and the power to reckon with the possible. In Thomas Baldwin (ed.),
Reading Merleau-Ponty: On Phenomenology of Perception.
Smith, A. D. (2003). Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Husserl and the Cartesian Meditations. Routledge.
Young, Iris Marion (1980). Throwing like a girl: A phenomenology of feminine body comportment motility and spatiality. Human Studies 3 (1):137 - 156.

Additional Information
Course URL Please see Learn
Graduate Attributes and Skills Thinking and writing clearly. Understanding the relationship between work from different disciplines and traditions.
KeywordsPhenomenology; Merleau-Ponty
Course organiserDr Dave Ward
Tel: (0131 6)50 3652
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002
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