The role of habit in human behavior according to M. Merleau-Ponty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The issue of habit appears frequently in the Phenomenology of Perception, but nowhere in this book does Merleau-Ponty treat it in an exclusive way. He uses it rather to explain the pre-reflective nature of the original relationship of the person with the world that surrounds him or her, a theme that runs throughout all his work. This article first presents some ideas regarding the Structure of Behavior that serve as a background to understand Merleau-Ponty's view of habit. The analysis then focuses on the Phenomenology of Perception, in which Merleau-Ponty explains the role of habit as a link and "understanding" that the body has with the world. The space experienced by one's own body is the first aspect that highlights the importance of habit and serves to introduce a more direct understanding of what Merleau-Ponty conceives as a kind of anchorage of the subject in the world. The article concludes with an explanation of the relationship between habit and freedom.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)367-380
Number of pages14
JournalFilosofia Unisinos
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2012


  • Freedom
  • Habit
  • Lived space
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • Own body
  • Phenomenology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The role of habit in human behavior according to M. Merleau-Ponty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this