Merleau-Ponty's essays on aesthetics are some of the major accomplishments of his philosophical career, and rank even today among the most sophisticated reflections on art in all of twentieth-century philosophy. His essays on painting, "Cezanne's Doubt" (1945), "Indirect Language and the Voices of Silence" (1952), and "Eye and Mind" (1960), have inspired new approaches to epistemology, ontology, and the philosophy of history. Galen A. Johnson has gathered these essays for the first time into a single volume and augmented them with essays by distinguished scholars and artists, including M.C. Dillon, Mikel Dufrenne, and Rene Magritte. Together the essays demonstrate the continuing significance of Merleau-Ponty's ideas about art for contemporary philosophy on both sides of the Atlantic.
Galen A. Johnson is a professor of philosophy at the University of Rhode Island. He is the coeditor, with Michael B. Smith, of Ontology and Alterity in Merleau-Ponty (Northwestern University Press) and the author of Earth and Sky, His History and Philosophy: Island Images Inspired by Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. Michael B. Smith is an associate professor of French at Berry College and the translator of Michel de Certeau's Fable Mystique.