Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Moving Home

“To sum up, what we have discovered through the study of motility, is a new meaning of the word ‘meaning.’ The great strength of intellectualist psychology and idealist philosophy comes from their having no difficulty in showing that perception and thought have an intrinsic significance and cannot be explained in terms of the external association of fortuitously agglomerated contents. The Cogito was the coming to self-awareness of this inner core. But all meaning was ipso facto conceived as an act of thought, as the work of a pure I, and although rationalism easily refuted empiricism, it was itself unable to account for the variety of experience, for the element of senselessness in it, for the contingency of contents. Bodily experience forces us to acknowledge an imposition of meaning which is not the work of a universal constituting consciousness, a meaning which clings to certain contents. My body is that meaningful core which behaves like a general function, and which nevertheless exists, and is susceptible to disease. In it we learn to know that union of essence and existence which we shall find again in perception generally, and which we shall then have to describe more fully.”

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Phenomenology of Perception. Trans. Colin Smith. London and New York: Routledge, 1958. 170.

1 comment:

saragraph said...

verrrrry interesting!