Analytic and Transcendental Empiricism: Russell, Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze

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The aim of this paper is to explore the relations between what Russell calls ‘analytic’ empiricism and the ‘superior’ empiricism developed by Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze. Whilst the atomistic structure of Russell’s empiricism is paralleled by his reliance on reflex psychology, Merleau-Ponty’s own philosophy instead parallels the results of Gestalt psychology. By exploring how Gestalt psychology highlights the limitations of reflex psychology, I show how Merleau-Ponty’s own philosophy aims to overcome problems within Russell’s empiricism. I conclude by using Deleuze’s conception of superior empiricism to show why Merleau-Ponty’s criticisms of empiricism call for its qualification rather than renunciation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-400
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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