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Merleau-Ponty, M. (2014). Phenomenology of perception. D. A. Landes, Trans. New York: Routledge. (Original work published 1945).   
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard   Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 1/8/24, 7:05 AM
"The body cannot be compared to a physical object, but rather to the work of art. In a painting or in a piece of music, the idea cannot be communicated other than through the arrangement of color or sounds."
"The body is our general means of having a world."
"Experience reveals, beneath the objective space in which the body eventually finds its place, a primordial spatiality of which objective space is but the envelope and which merges with the very being of the body. As we have seen, to be a body is to be tied to a certain world, and out body is not primarily in space, but is rather of space."
"the body and consciousness are not mutually limiting, they can only be parallel."
"we must not say that our body is in space, nor for that matter in time. It inhabits space and time. [In executing a complicated hand movement in air] At each moment, previous postures and movements constantly provide a standard of measure. . . . Just as it is necessarily "here," the body necessarily exists "now"; it can never become "past."  . . . At each moment in a movement, the preceding instant is not forgotten, but rather is somehow fit into the present, and, in short, the present perception consists in taking up the series of previous positions that envelop each other by relying upon the current position. But the imminent position is itself enveloped in the present, and through it so too are all of those positions that will occur throughout the movement. Each moment of the movement embraces its entire expanse and, in particular, its first moment or kinetic initiation inaugurates the link between a here and a there, between a now and a future that the other moments will be limited to developing."
"Consciousness is being toward the thing through the intermediary of the body. A movement is learned when the body has understood it, that is, when it has incorporated it into its "world""
Discussing the habituation of a blind man to his cane, it almost becomes a part of his body: "The position of objects is given immediately by the scope of the gesture that reaches them and in which, beyond the potential reach of the arm, the radius of the action of the cane is included. . . . This has nothing to do with a quick estimate or a comparison between the objective length of the cane and the objective distance of the goal to be reached. Places in space are not defined as objective positions in relation to the objective position of our body, but rather they inscribe around us the variable reach of our intentions and our gestures. To habituate oneselve to a hat, an automobile, or a cane is to take up residence in them, or inversely, to make them participate within the voluminosity of one's own body. Habit expresses the power we have of dilating our being in the world, or of altering our existence through incorporating new instruments."
"A novel, a poem, a painting, and a piece of music are individuals, that is, beings in which the expression cannot be distinguished from the expressed, whose sense is only accessible through direct contact, and who send forth their signification without ever leaving their temporal and spatial place. It is in this sense that our body is comparable to the work of art."
Criticising Descartes' view of the body-mind separation and thus object-subject and the experience of one's own body, "our body remained subordinated to knowledge through ideas because behind man, such as he in fact is, stands God as the rational author of our factual situation. Supported by this transcendent guarantor, Descartes can blandly accept our irrational condition, for we are not the ones required to bear reason and, once we have recognized reason as the foundation of all things, all that remains for us is to act and to think the world."
"the body is not a transparent object and is not given to us (in the manner that the circle is given to the geometer) through the law of its constitution, and if the body is rather an expressive unity that we can only learn to know by taking it up, then this structure will spread to the sensible world. The theory of the body schema is implicitly a theory of perception."
"My body takes possession of time and makes a past and a future exist for a present; it is not a thing, rather than suffering time, my body creates it."
"There is, then, another subject beneath me, for whom a world exists before I am there, and who marks out my place in that world. This captive or natural mind is my body, not the momentary body that is the instrument of my personal choices and that focuses upon some world, but rather the system of anonymous "functions" that wraps each particular focusing into a general project. . . . Space is neither an object, nor an act of connecting by the subect: one can neither observe it (given that is is presupposed in every observation), nor see it emerging from a constitutive operation (given that it is of its essence to be already constituted); and this is how space can magically bestow upon the landscape its spatial determinations without itself ever appearing."
"the cane is no longer an object that the blind man would perceive, it has become an instrument with which he perceives. It is an appendage of the body, or an extension of the bodily synthesis. . . . With the gaze, we have available a natural instrument comparable to the blind man's cane. The gaze obtains more or less from things according to the manner in which it interrogates them, in which it glances over them or rests upon them."