Merleau-Ponty and the Toronto Seminar: A Story of Philosophical Community explores the significance of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception for a group of scholars connected through a philosophy seminar that has taken place annually in Toronto for nearly twenty years. Laura McMahon interviews Toronto Seminar founder and organizer John Russon and Merleau-Ponty scholars Kirsten Jacobson, Kym Maclaren, and Scott Marratto about central concepts and features of Merleau-Ponty’s work—the creative nature of phenomenological description, the challenge to mind-body dualism, the rigorous engagement with the natural sciences, the nature of institution and intercorporeality—and their importance for contemporary research on the body, intersubjectivity, and health.
The featured scholars also speak to how the collective thinking that takes place at the Toronto Seminar has shaped their philosophical identities. This video is both an educational introduction to some of what is most insightful and exciting about Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, and a reflection on the power of thinking together in philosophical community.
The launch event will feature the world premiere of the film, followed by a discussion of it with its makers and interviewees Laura McMahon, John Russon, Kirsten Jacobson, Scott Marratto and Kym Maclaren (Canada & USA) with host David Morris (Canada), and then a question and answer session with the audience. The launch is via a Zoom Webinar, on 16 April 2021, 16:00-17:30 EST (Montreal). The event is free to attend but requires registration.