E.P. Thompson et M. Merleau-Ponty : la conscience connue, la conscience vécue

Philosophiques 45 (1):39-58 (2018)
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Abstract

Renowed historian E.P. Thompson single-handedly changed the marxist understanding of class and class consciousness in his pivotal book The Making of the English Working Class. Thompson not only took issue with the economic and technological determinism that plagued marxist theory, he also took issue with philosophers — Althusser, Foucault, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, etc. — who variously described history as a process without a subject. Thompson was wary of philosophers. He nonetheless approvingly quotes Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his polemical essay The Poverty of Theory. This surprising reference went unnoticed to this day. Following Thompson’s original reference to Merleau-Ponty’s The Structure of Behavior leads one to a number of observations that the french philosopher made to history, social classes and class counsciousness in works such as Phenomenology of Perception, Sense and Non-Sense and the Adventures of the Dialectic. Those various observations show that Thompson and Merleau-Ponty shared the same phenomenological understanding of class consciousness.

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La structure du comportement.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1953 - Presses Universitaires de France - PUF.
Remarques sur la position du problème sociologique Des classes.Maurice Halbwachs - 1905 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 13 (6):890 - 905.

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