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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 (9/3/23, 4:11 PM)   Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard (9/21/23, 7:40 AM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-0-415-83433-9
BibTeX citation key: MerleauPonty1945
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Categories: General
Keywords: Perception, Phenomenology
Creators: Landes, Merleau-Ponty
Publisher: Routledge (New York)
Views: 14/14
There is also a mini biography of Merluea-Ponty by Claude Lefort.
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.xxiii, Section preface   "The world is there prior to every analysis that I could give of it, and it would be artificial to derive it from a series of syntheses that would first link sensations and then perspectival appearances of the object together, whereas both of these are in fact products of the analysis and must not have existed before it."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.xxiv, Section preface   "At each moment , my perceptual field is filled with reflections, sudden noises, and fleeting tactile impressions that I am unable to link to the perceived context and that, nevertheless, I immediately pklace in the world without ever confusing them with my daydreams. At each instant, I weave dreams around the things, I imagine objects or people whose presence here is not incompatible with the context, and yet they are not confused with the world, they are out in front of the world, on the stage of the imagination. If the reality of my perception were based solely on the intrinsic coherence of "representations," then it should always be hsistant, and, delivered over to my probable conjectures, I ought to be continuously dismantling illusory syntheses and reintegrating them into the aberrant phenomena that I may have at first excluded. But this is never the case."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.xxvii, Section preface   "we are in and toward the world, and since our reflections take place in the temporal flow that they are attempting to capture (since they sich einströmen [flow along therein], as Husserl says), there is no thought that encompasses all of our thought."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology, Section preface   "we must not wonder if we truly perceive a world; rather, we must say: the world is what we peceive."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
pp.xxi–xxii, Section Preface   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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.10   "We grasp the sensible with the senses, but we know that this "with" is not merely instrumental, that the sensory apparatus is not merely a conductor, and that even at the periphery, the physiological impression is engaged in relations that were previously considered external."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Sensation
pp.10–11   "In its general effort toward objectification, science inevitably comes to a conception of the human organism as a physical system in the presence of stimuli themselves defined by their physico-chemical properties, seeks to reconstruct actual perception upon this basis and to close the cycle of scientific knowledge by discovering the laws according to which knowledge itself is produced, that is, by establishing an objective science of subjectivity. It is, however, just as inevitable that this attempt should fail."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Sensation
p.11   "the nature of the perceived is to tolerate ambiguity, a certain "shifting" or "haziness" [bougé], and so to allow itself to be shaped by the context."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Ambiguity
p.23   "To perceive is not to experience a multitude of impressions that bring along with them some memories capable of completing them, it is to see an immanent sense bursting forth from a constellation of givens without which no call to memory is possible. To remember is not to bring back before the gaze of consciousness a self-subsistent picture of the past, it is to plunge into the horizon of the past and gradually to unfold tightly packed perspectives until the experiences that it summarizes are as if lived anew in their own temporal place. To perceive is not to remember."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Memory
p.26   "the nature that empiricism speaks of is a sum of stimuli and qualities. It is absurd to claim tha this nature is the primary object of our perception, even if only intentionally: such a nature is clearly posterior to our experience of cultural objects, or rather, it is itself a cultural object."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Empiricism
p.26   "The background continues beneath the figure, is seen beneath the figure even though it is covered over by it. This phenomenon (which encompasses the entire problem of the presence of the object) is itself also concealed by empiricist philosophy, which treats this part nof the background as invisible in accordance with a physiological definition of vision and reduces it to the status of a simple sensible quality by supposing that it is presented through an image, that is, through a weakened sensation. . . . objects that do not make up part of our visual field can only be present to us through images . . . If we abandon the empiricist premise that prioritizes the content of perception, we are free to acknowledge the strange mode of existence of the object behind us."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Empiricism Perception Phenomenology Presence
pp.28–29   Criticising the empiricist view of attention . . . "empiricism deduces the concept of attention from the "constancy hypothesis," that is, from the priority of the objective world. Even if what we perceive does not correspond to the objective properties of the stimulus, the constancy hypothesis requires the assumption that the "normal sensations" are already there. They must, then, go by unnoticed, and "attention" will the the function that reveals them, like a spotlight illuminating preexisting objects hidden in the shadows. Thus, the act of attention creates nothing, and nothing less than a natural miracle . . . can make spring forth precisely these perceptions or these ideas that are capable of responding to the questions I ask myself. Since the act of "Bemerken," or of "taking notice," is not the efficient cause of the ideas to which it gives rise, it is the same throughout all acts of attention, just as the spotlight's beam is the same regardless of the landscape it illuminates. Attention, then, is a general and unconditioned power in the sense that it can at any moment indifferently cast its light upon any of the contents of consciousness."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Attention Perception Phenomenology
p.35   Using the sight of men through a window swaddled in coats and hats: "Once vision has been defined in the empiricist manner as the possession of a quality inscribed upon the body by the stimulus, the slightest illusion, since it invests the object with properties it does not have on my retina, suffices to establish that perception is a judgment. . . . Perception becomes an "interpretation" of the signs that sensibility provides in accordance with bodily stimuli . . . [judgment] itself becomes a mere "factor" of perception charged with the task of providing what is not provided by the body"   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Attention
p.36   Using the example of the Necker cube. "Even if I know that it can be seen in two ways, the figure sometimes refuses to change structure, and my knowledge must wait for its intuitive realization. Here again it must be concluded that judgment is not perceiving."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Attention Judgement
p.38   "the givens of the problem do not exist prior to its solution, and perception is precisely this act that creates, all at once, out of the constellation of givens, the sense that ties them all together. Perception does not merely discover the sense they have, but rather, sees to it that they have a sense."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.46   Paraphrasing Descartes in his Meditations: "The experience of the present is the experience of a being who is established once and for all, and who nothing could ever prevent from having existed."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence
p.47   "How could we claim that the perception of distance is derived from the apparent size of objects, from the disparity of the retinal images, from the adaptation of the lens, or from the convergence of the eyes, and how could we claim that the perception of depth is derived from the difference between the images provided by the right eye and the left eye respectively since, if we hold ourselves to the phenomena, not one of these "signs" is clearly given to consciousness and since there can be no reasoning where premises are lacking?"   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.4   Uses Gestalt theory to state that a figure on a background, "the most basic sensible given we can have," is the fundamental definition of perception as phenomenon. This means that a truly homogenenous area cannot be perceived because this "pure impression" offers nothing to perceive. "An isolated perceptual given [the homogeneous area] is inconceivable, so long as we perform the mental experiment of trying to perceive it. Yet in the world there are isolated objects or a physical void."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Sensation
p.5   Note that, according to Merleau-Ponty, a sensation is not a sensible. A sensible is prior to sensation and a quality of the object (what would be known as a proper sensible or a secondary quality [common and primary sensibles are combinations of sensations—shape, dimension, etc.—from secondary sensibles]). Thus red and green are not sensations but sensibles.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Sensation
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