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Prof. David Morris Wins Ballard Book Prize in Phenomenology

September 1, 2021

Prof. David Morris wins Edward Goodwin Ballard Book Prize in Phenomenology for "Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology," published by Northwestern University Press in 2018.

Citation: David Morris's Merleau-Ponty’s Developmental Ontology is one of the best books ever written on Merleau-Ponty. Indeed, it may be the best one, rivaling Barbaras's Being of the Phenomenon. Merleau-Ponty’s Developmental Ontology is the result of years of research and thought. It is a study of Merleau-Ponty and a contribution to philosophy insofar as developmental ontology gives us a new view of nature, life, and consciousness. The exposition of developmental ontology extends Merleau-Ponty’s unfinished work. It traces out readings of Merleau-Ponty’s key texts oriented by the question of sense; and it contains chapters that concern issues central to Merleau-Ponty’s thinking. Merleau-Ponty’s Developmental Ontology takes the word “development” in a biological sense. Therefore, the chapters on nature and biology are the most important. After all, Morris says that “the goal of this book… is precisely to pursue this sort of ontology via philosophy of nature.”

The Edward Goodwin Ballard Prize in Phenomenology is sponsored by the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology with interest from a fund raised from Professor Ballard’s family, students, and friends. The prize of $1,000 is awarded annually, beginning in 1997, for the best book in phenomenology from the previous three years nominated in an area of interest to Ballard. Books that are phenomenological and published in English, French, German, or Spanish focusing on art, ancient philosophy, the philosophy of the liberal arts, or the philosophies of mathematics, natural science, or technology will be preferred.

David Morris is Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University.

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