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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
Merleau-Ponty states that phenomenology is about "describing, and not explaining or analyzing [it] is first and foremost a disavowal of science. I am not the result or the intertwining of multiple causalities that determine my body or my "psyche"; I cannot think of myself as a part of the world, like the simple object of biology, psychology, and sociology; I cannot enclose myself within the universe of science. . . . The entire universe of science is constructed upon the lived world, and if we wish to think science rigorously, to appropriate precisely its sense and its scope, we must first awaken that experience of the world of which science is the second-order expression. Science neither has, nor ever will have the same ontological sense as the perceived world for the simple reason that science is a determination or an explanation of that world. I am not a "living being," a "man," nor even a "consciousness," possessing all of the characteristics that zoology, social anatomy, and inductive psychology acknowledge in these products of nature or history. Rather, I am the absolute source. . . . For I am the one who brings into being for myself — and thus into being in the only sense that the word could have for me — this tradition that I choose to take up or this horizon whose distance from me would collapse were I not there to sustain it with my gaze (since this distance does not belong to the horizon as one of its properties). Scientific perspectives according to which I am a moment of the world are always naïve and hypocritical because they always imply, without mentioning it, that other perspective — the perspective of consciousness — by which a world first arranges itself around me and begins to exist for me."
"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."
Talking of various 2D sketches of cubes (cf Necker Cube): "Depth is born before my gaze because my gaze attempts to see something."
"Every focusing is always a focusing on something that presents itself as something to be focused upon. When I focus upon the face ABCD of the cube, this does not mean simply that I make it enter into a state of being clearly seen, but also that I make it count as a figure, and closer to me than the other face; in short, I organize the cube, and the gaze is this perceptual genius underneath the thinking subject who knows how to give to things the correct response that they are waiting for in order to exist in front of us."
Discussing the phnomenon of the body and the phenomenon of the thing in an extended discussion of size and distance in the experience of reality: "if we want to describe these two phenomena, then we must say that my experience opens onto things and transcends itself in them because it always accomplishes itself within the framework of a certain arrangement with regard to the world that is the definition of my body. Sizes and forms only serve to "modalize" this overall hold upon the world. The thing is large if my gaze cannot encompass it, small if it does so easily, and medium sizes are distinguished from each other insofar as they, at an equal distance, more or less widen my gaze, or insofar as they, at unequal distances, widen it equally."
Visual "perception presupposes in us a mechanism capable of responding to the solicitations of light according to their sense (that is, simultaneously according to their direction and their signification, which are but one), capable of drawing together the scattered visibility, and of achieving what is merely sketched out in the spectacle. This mechanism is the gaze, or in other words the natural correlation between appearances and our kinaesthetic operations, which are not known through a law, but are lived as the engagement of our body in the typical structures of a world."