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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 (1/8/24, 7:05 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)
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There is also a mini biography of Merleau-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
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 Gaze, 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
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
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.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
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.52   "sensing always includes a reference to the body."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Sensation
p.53   "Sensing is this living communication with the world that makes it present to us as the familiar place of our life."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Sensation
p.53   "the decisive moment of perception [is] the springing forth of a true and precise world."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.62   "the meditating Ego can never suppress its inherence in an individual subject who knows all things from a particular perspective. Reflection can never make it the case that I cease to perceive the sun as on a hazy day as hovering two hundred paces away, that I cease to see the sun "rise" and "set," or that I cease to think with the cultural instruments that were provided by my upbringing, my previouse efforst, and my history."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
"When I see the lamp on my table, I attribute to it not merely the qualities that are visible from my location, but also those that the fireplace, the walls, and the table can "see." The back of my lamp is merely the face that it "shows" to the fireplace. Thus, I can see one object insofar as objects form a system or a world, and insofar as each of them arranges the other around itself like spectators of its hidden aspects and as the guarantee of their permanence. Each act of seeing that I perform is instantly reiterated among all the objects of the world that are grasped as coexistent because each object just is all that the others "see" of it."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Vision
pp.71–72   "The object is seen from all times just as it is seen from all places, and by the same means, namely the horizon structure. The present still holds in hand the immediate past, but without positing it as an object, and since this immediate past likewise retains the past that immeidately preceded it, time gone by is entirely taken up and grasped in the present. The same goes for the imminent future that will itself have its own horizon of imminence. But along with my immediate past, I also have the horizon of the future that surrounded it; that is, I have my actual present seen as the future of that past. Along with the imminent future, I also have the horizon of the past that will surround it; that is, I have my actual present as the past of that future. Thus, thanks to the double horizon of retention and protention, my present can cease to be a present that is in fact about to be carried off and destroyed by the flow of duration and can rather become a fixed and identifiable point in an objective time."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence Protention Time
p.92   "the object is only an object if it can be moved away and ultimately disappear from my visual field. Its presence is such that it requires a possible absence."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Vision
p.93   "there must be something in the presentation of one's own body that renders its absence, or even its variation, inconceivable."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.93   "my own body is the primordial habit, the one that conditions all others and by which they can be understood."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.94   "The body, then, is not just another external object that could offer the peculiarity of always being there. If it is permanent, then this has to do with an absolute permanence that serves as the basis for the relative permanence of objects that can be eclipsed, that is, of trued objects. The presence and the absence of external objects are only variations within a primordial field of presence, a perceptual domain over which my body has power."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence
pp.102–103   The body schema is "the global awareness of my posture in the inter-sensory world . . . my body appears to me as a posture toward a certain task, actual or possible. And in fact my body's spatiality is not, like the spatiality of external objects or of "spatial sensations," a positional spatiality; rather, it is a situational spatiality." (102)

Ultimately, the body schema is "a manner of expressing that my body is in and toward the world." (103)

  Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.103   "one's own body is always the implied third term of the figure–background structure, and each figure appears perspectivally against the double horizon of external space and bodily space."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Gestalt
pp.104–105   "far from my body being for me merely a fragment of space, there would be for me no such thing as space if I did not have a body. If bodily space and external space form a practical system, the former being the background against which the object can stand out or the void in front of which the object can appear as the goal of our action, then it is clearly in action that the spatiality of the body is brought about, and the analysis of movement should allow us to understand spatiality better."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Space Gestalt
p.114   "Within the busy world in which concrete movement unfolds, abstract movement hollows out a zone of reflection and of subjectivity, it superimposes a virtual or human space over physical space. Concrete movement is thus centripetal, whereas abstract movement is centrifugal; the first takes place within being or within the actual, the second takes place within the possible or within non-being; the first adheres to a given background, the second itself sets up its own background. The normal function that makes abstract movement possible is a function of "projection" by which the subject of movement organizes before himself a free space in which things that do not exist naturally take on a semblance of existence."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Motion
p.125   "the body and consciousness are not mutually limiting, they can only be parallel."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Consciousness Perception Phenomenology Body
pp.131–132   "For me, my apartment is not a series of strongly connected images. it only remains around me as my familiar domain if I still hold "in my hands" or "in my legs" its principal distances and directions, and only if a multitude of intentional threads run out toward it from my body."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Embodied cognition
p.132   Critiquing an outmoded model of perception: "The classical analysis of perception separates within perception the sensible givens and the signification that they receive through an act of the understanding."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.137   "the life of consciousness — epistemic life, the life of desire, or perpetual life — is underpinned by an "intentional arc" that projects around us our past, our future, our human milieu, our physical situation, our ideological situation, and our moral situation, or rather, that ensures we are situated within all of these relationships. This intentional arc creates the unity of the senses with intelligence, and the unity of sensitivity and motricity."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Intentionality
p.140   "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""   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Consciousness Perception Phenomenology Body
pp.140–141   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence Protention Time Body
pp.145–146   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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Free will Perception Phenomenology Body
p.147   "No sooner have I formed the desire to take hold of an object than already, at some point in space that I was not thinking about, my hand as that power for grasping rises up toward the object."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Free will Perception Phenomenology
p.147   "The body is our general means of having a world."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Body
p.149   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Space Body
p.152   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Body
p.153   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Body Perception Phenomenology
p.154   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Body Gaze Perception Phenomenology
p.177   "Thought is the inter-human life such as it comprehends and interprets itself."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Thought
p.179   States his intention "to leave behind, once and for all, the classical subject-object dichotomy."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Vision
p.181   "language now appears as conditioned by thought."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Speech Thought
p.183   "for the speaker, then, speech does not translate a ready-made thought; rather, speech accomplishes thought.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Speech Thought
pp.184–185   Talking about how the sense of speech can be gained in part by its context even if the words themselves are unintelligible: "I begin to understand a philosophy by slipping into this thought's particular manner of existing . . . In short, every language teaches itself and imports its meaning [sens] into the listener's mind. A piece of music or a painting that is not immediately understood ultimately creates its own public — so long as it truly says something — which is to say, by secreting its own signification."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Speech Thought
pp.188–189   "Thought is nothing "inner," nor does it exist outside the world and outside of words. What tricks us here, what makes us believe in a thought that could exist for itself prior to expression, are the already constituted and already expressed thoughts that we can silently recall to oursleve and by which we give ourselves the illusion of an inner life. But in fact, this supposed silence is buzzing with worlds — this inner life is an inner language. . . . Though and expression are thus constituted simultaneously"   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Language Thought
p.189   "In order for me to understand the other person's words, I must "already know" his vocabulary and his syntax. But that does not mean that the words act by arousing "representations" in me, which could be associated with them and which, when taken together, could eventually reproduce in me the speaker's original "representation." I do not primarily communicate with "representations" or with a thought, but rather with a speaking subject, with a certain style of being, and with the "world" that he aims at."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Language Thought Speech
p.205   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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Reason Body
p.213   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Body
p.219   "The subject of sensation is neither a thinker who notices a quality, nor an inert milieu that would be affected or modified by it; the subject of sensation is a power that is born together with a certain existential milieu or that is synchronized with it. . . . This is just as the sacrament does not merely symbolize, in a sensible way, an operation of Grace, but is the real presence of God and makes this presence occupy a fragment of space and to communicate it to those who eat the bread . . . In the same way, the sensible does not merely have a motor and vital signification, but is rather nothing other than a certain manner of being in the world that is proposed to us from a point in space, that our body takes up and adopts if it is capable, and sensation is, literally, communion."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence
p.236   Finally talking of sound . . . "there is an objective sound that resonates outside of me in the musical instrument, an atomospheric sound that is between the object and my body, a sound that vibrates in me "as if I had become the flute or the clock," and finally a last stage where the sonorous element disappears and becomes a highly precise experience of a modification of my entire body."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Philosophy
p.249   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Body Time Presence
p.250   "there would be no present [. . .] if perception did not, to speak like Hegel, preserve a past in its present depth, and did not condense that past into the present."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence
p.265   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Space Body
p.274   Talking of various 2D sketches of cubes (cf Necker Cube): "Depth is born before my gaze because my gaze attempts to see something."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Depth Perception Phenomenology Vision Gaze
pp.275–276   "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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Depth Perception Phenomenology Vision Gaze
p.277   "the lamp that I see exists at the same time as I do, distance is between simultaneous objects, and this simultaneity is included in the very sense of perception. . . . coexistence, which in fact defines space, is not alien to time; rather it is adherence of two phenomena to the same temporal wave. With regard to the relation between the perceived object and my perception, it does not connect them in space but outside of time; they are contemporaries."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Depth Perception Phenomenology Presence
p.288   "Things coexist in space because they are present to the same perceiving subject and enveloped in a single temporal wave."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence Space
p.289   "When we reach the limits of the visual field, we do not go from vision to non-vision: the phonograph playing in the neighboring room and which I do not explicitly see still counts in my visual field"   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Vision
p.292   "we cannot prevent ourselves from focusing our eyes — which means that so long as we live we remain engaged, if not in a human milieu, then at least in a physical milieu"   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Vision
p.309   "if, as Husserl suggests, I stand in wonder before the world and cease to be complicit with it . . . when I want to express myself . . . I enter back into the implicit, that is, into the equivocal and the play of the world. The absolute contact of myself with myself, or the identity of being and appearing, canno be posited, but merely lived prior to all affirmation."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Reality
p.310   "A truth against the background of absurdity, and an absurdity that the teleology of consciousness presumes to be able to convert into a truth, this is the originary phenomenon. To say that, in consciousness, appearance and reality are one, or to say that they are separated, is to render impossible the consciousness of anything, even its appearance."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Consciousness Reality
p.311   "I say that I perceive correctly when my body has a precise hold on the spectacle, but this does not mean that my hold is ever complete; it could only be complete if I had been able to reduce all of the object's interior and exterior horizons to the state of articulated perception, which is in principle impossible. In the experience of a perceptual truth, I presume that the concordance experienced up until now would be maintained for a more detailed observation; I put my confidence in the world. To perceive is suddenly to commit to an entire future of experiences in a present that never, strictly speaking, guarantees that future; to perceive is to believe in a world."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Protention
p.313   Using the variability of size perception as the exemplar (size is not a quality of the thing because size varies according to distance to the perceiver, and because I can adjust the perception of size according to my knowledge of how close or how distant the thing is from me): "Reality is not one privileged appearance that would remain beneath the others; it is the framework of relations to which all appearances conform."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Reality
p.316   In a discussion of reality and perception of size: "The distance between me and the object is not a size that increases or decreases, but rather a tension that oscillates around a norm."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Reality
p.316   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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Reality Vagueness Vision Gaze
p.323, Paragraph 324   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."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Vision Gaze
p.337   "We now discover the core of reality: a thing is a thing because, no matter what it says to us, it says it through the very organization of its sensible appearances. The "real" is this milieu where each moment is not only inseparable from the others, but in some sense synonymous with them, where the "appearances" signify each other in an absolute equivalence. The "real" is the insurmountable plenitude: it is impossible to describe fully the color of a carpet without saying that it is a carpet, or a woolen carpet, and without implying in this color a certain tactile value, a certain weight, and a certain resistance to sound. The thing is this manner of being in which the complete definition of of an attribute demands that of the entire subject, and where, consequently, its sense is indistinguishable from its total appearance."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Reality
p.341   "a thing is not actually given in perception, it is inwardly taken up by us, reconstituted and lived by us insofar as it is linked to a world whose fundamental structures we carry with ourselves and of which the thing is just one of several possible concretions."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
p.343   "Just as the absence of sound for the hearing subject does not break the communication with the sonorous world, so too the absence of the visual or auditory world for the subject who is blind or deaf from birth does not break the communication with the world in general; there is always something opposite this subject, something of being to be deciphered, an omnitudo realitatis."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
pp.345–346   "Within the interior and exterior horizon of the thing or the landscape there is a co-presence or a coexistence of profiles that are tied together through space and time. The natural world is the horizon of all horizons . . . But how could I have the experience of the world as an actually existing individual, since none of the perspectival views that I have of it exhaust it, since its horizons are always open, and since, on the other hand, no form of knowledge — not even science — gives us the invariable formula of a facies totius universi [face of the whole universe]? How can anything ever be presented to us definitively since the synthesis of it is never completed, and since I can always expect to see it break apart and pass to the status of a simple illusion? . .  The synthesis of horizons is essencially temporal, that is, it is not subjected to time, it does not suffer time, and it does not have to overcome time; but rather, it merges with the very movement by which time goes by. Through my perceptual field with its spatial horizons, I am present to my surroundings, I coexist with all the other landscapes that extend beyond, and all of these perspectives together form a single temporal wave, an instant of the world. Through my perceptual field with its temporal horizons, I am present to my present, to the entire past that has preceded it, and to a future."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence
pp.359–360   "The perceived is and remains, despite all critical training, beneath the level of doubt and demonstration. The sun "rises" for the scientist just as much as it does for the uneducated person, and our scientific representations of the solar system remain merely so many rumors, like the lunar landscapes — we never believe in them in the sense in which we believe in the rising of the sun. The rising of the sun, and the perceived in general, is "real" — we immediately assign it to the world. Each perception, although always potentially "crossed out" and pushed over to the realm of illusions, only disappears in order to leave a place for another perception that corrects it. . .  To wonder if the world is real is to fail to understand what one is saying, since the world is not a sum of things that one could always cast into doubt, but precisely the inexhaustible reservoir from which all things are drawn."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Reality
p.369   "My gaze falls upon a living body performing an action and the objects that surround it immediately receive a new layer of signification: they are no longer merely what I could do with them, they are also what this behavior is about to do with them. A vortex forms around the perceived body into which my world is drawn and, so to speak, sucked in: to this extent, my world is no longer merely mine, it is no longer present only to me, it is present to X, to this other behavior that begins to take shape in it."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence
p.394   "It would be contradictory to maintain simultaneously that the world is constituted by me and that I can only grasp the outline and the essential structures of this constitutive operation; I must see the existing world appear — and not merely the idea of the world — upon the completion of the constitutive work, otherwise I would only have an abstract construction and not a concrete consciousness of the world."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
pp.433–434   "the very notion of an event has no place in the objective world. . . . "Events" are carved out of the spatiotemporal totality of the objective world by a finite observer. And yet, if I consider this world itself, there is but a single indivisible being that does not change. Change presupposes a certain observation post where I place myself and from where I can see things go by; there are no events without someone to whom they happen and whose finite perspective grounds their individuality. Time presupposes a view upon time. Thus, time is not like a stream; time is not a fluid substance. This metaphor has been able to survive since Heraclitus up until today because we surreptitiously place in the river a witness to its flowing."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Time
p.434   "time is neither a real process nor an actual succession in that I could limit myself simply to recording. It is born of my relation with things. In the things themselves, the future and the past are a sort of eternal pre-existence or afterlife; the water that will pass by tomorrow is currently at the source, the water that has just passed by is now a bit further down into the valley. Whatever is past of future for me is present in the world."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Time Presence
p.439   Merleau-Ponty defines the field of presence as "the originary experience where time and its dimensions appear in person without any intervening distance and with an ultimate evidentness."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence Presence (definition)
p.444   "each present reaffirms the presence of the entire past that it drives away, and anticipates the presence of the entire future or the "to-come" [l'à-venir] . . . the present is not locked within itself but transcends itself toward a future and toward a past."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Presence
p.456   "the objective body is not truth of the phenomenal body, that is, the truth of the body such as we experience it. The objective body is merely an impoverished image of the phenomenal body"   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology
pp.458–459   "it is clear no causal relation can be conceived between the subject and his body, his world, or his society" (p.458).

"For something from the outside to be able to determine me (in both senses of the word), I would have to be a thing" (p.459).

  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
pp.224–225   Merleau-Ponty states that "every sensation belongs to a field" (224) and gives the example of a visual field as comprised of a system of 'visible beings' that are a 'gift of nature' requiring no effort on the part of the beholder (224). A sense "is a thought subjugated to a certain field" (225).   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Sensation Vision
pp.230–234   A few pages on the relationship between senses and spatiality.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Sensation Space
pp.237–239   Discussing synaesthesia. "Synesthetic perception is the rule" (p.238); "I hear the hardness and unevenness of the cobblestones in the sound of a car, and we are right to speak of a "soft," "dull," or "dry" sound. Even if one might doubt that hearing gives us genuine "things," it is at least certain that, beyond mere sounds in space, it offers us something that literally "sounds," and thereby if communicates with the other senses" (p.239).   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Synaesthesia
pp.439–440   Discussing Husserl's conceptions of retention and protention, these being intentionalities: "Time is not a line, but rather a network of intentionalities" (p. 440).   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Phenomenology Protention Presence
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