Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 4, No 6 (2015)

Merleau-Ponty and the Political Question of the Republic. Discussions on a Legacy.

Leonardo Daniel Eiff


Throughout the last decades, the development of studies and debates on the “Republic” has contributed to the restoration of a number of texts and analysed authors - this time under the auspices of the republican eye. However, by and large, this group of debates did not come to a halt at the political perspective of Merleau-Ponty. This paper intends to highlight the political relevancy of Merleau-Ponty´s oeuvre by focusing on a specific aspect of the so-called “republican debate”: the one that seeks a point of convergence or, at least, a dialogue with the socialist tradition. The political uniqueness of Merleau-Ponty is based on the sensemaking construction process of such dialogue. This uniqueness permits to reconsider the “republic issue” of these days. On the other hand, we intend to discuss with one of the few texts (Peillon 2003) which reflects upon the political perspective of Merleau-Ponty following the so-called “republican socialism”. The objective of both this discussion and this paper will delve into political theory: what notion of “the political” emerges out of the different concepts surrounding the republic? And why can the contribution of Merleau-Ponty be of great interest to re-create this problematic issue beyond the specificities of the particular context where this problematic issue first emerged?