More Stuff from Ron's Philosophy page at ProfRon.net



Quotes from Merleau-Ponty

But phenomenology is also a philosophy which puts essences back into existence, and does not expect to arrive at an understanding of man and the world from any starting point other than that of their 'facticity'. (PofP, p. vii)

....there is no inner man, man is in the world, and only in the world does he know himself. (PofP, p. xi)

It is because we are through and through compounded of relationships with the world that for us the only way to become aware of the fact is to suspend the resultant activity, to refuse it our complicity...or yet again, to put it 'out of play'.  (p. xiii)

...the certainties of common sense and natural attitude to things... being the presupposed basis of any thought, they are taken for granted, and go unnoticed, and because in order to arouse them and bring them to view, we have to suspend for a moment our recognition of them.... (p. xiii)

Reflection does not withdraw from the world towards the unity of consciousness as the world's basis; it steps back to watch the forms of transcendence fly up like sparks from a fire;.... (p. xiii)

...in order to see the world and grasp it as paradoxical, we must break with our familiar acceptance of it....(PofP, p. xiv)

Far from being, as has been thought, a procedure of idealistic philosophy, phenomenological reduction belongs to existential philosophy:  Heidegger's 'being-in-the-world' appears only against the background of the phenomenological reduction. (PofP, p. xiv)

The eidetic reduction is, on the other hand, the determination to bring the world to light as it is before any falling back on ourselves has occurred, it is the ambition to make reflection emulate the unreflective life of consciousness. (PofP, p. xvi)

The eidetic method is the method of a phenomenological positivism which bases the possible on the real. (PofP, p. xvii)

We must not, therefore, wonder whether we really perceive a world, we must instead say:  the world is what we perceive. (PofP, p. xvi)

....there is no sphere of immanence, no realm in which my consciousness is fully at home and secure against all risk of error. (p.376)

...the contingency of the world must not be understood as a deficiency in being, a break in the stuff of necessary being, a threat to rationality, nor as a problem to be solved as soon as possible by the discovery of some deeper-laid necessity.  That is ontic contingency, contingency within the bounds of the world. (PofP, p.398)

The essential point is clearly to grasp the project towards the world that we are. (PofP, p.405)

....we are nothing but a view of the world.... (PofP, p. 406)

Inside and outside are inseparable. (PofP, p.407)

The world is already constituted, but also never completely constituted; in the first case we are acted upon, in the second we are open to an infinite number of possibilities....  There is, therefore, never determinism and never absolute choice, I am never a thing and never bare consciousness. (PofP, p. 453)

A shape is nothing but a sum of limited views, and the consciousness of a shape is a collective entity.  (PofP, p. 14)

I wanted to render precisely the perceptual experience, I ought to say that one perceives in me, and not that I perceive.  (PofP, p. 215)

When I say that I have senses and that they give me access to the world, I am not the victim of some muddle... I merely express this truth which forces itself upon reflection taken as a whole:  that I am able, being connatural with the world, to discover a sense in certain aspects of being without having myself endowed them with it through any constituting operation. (p. 217)

We pass from double vision to the single object, not through an inspection of the mind, but when the two eyes cease to function each on its own account and are used as a single organ by one single gaze.  It is not the epistemological subject who brings about the synthesis, but the body.... (PofP, p. 232)

I start from unified experince and from there acquire, in a secondary way, consciousness of a unifying activity when, taking up an analytical attitude, I break up perception into qualities and sensations, and when, in order to recapture on the basis of these the object into which I was in the first place blindly thrown, I am obliged to suppose an act of synthesis which is merely the counterpart of my analysis.  (PofP, p. 238)

In perception we do not think the object and we do not think ourselves thinking it, we are given over to the object and we merge into this body which is better informed than we are about the world...  (p. 238)

...in this transaction between the subject of sensation and the sensible it cannot be held that one acts while the other suffers the action, or that one confers significance on the other.  Apart from the probing of my eye or my hand, and before my body synchronizes with it, the sensible is nothing but a vague beckoning.  (PofP, p. 214)