15 January, 2009

Phenomenology of Perception

. 15 January, 2009

The word “perception” has simply been known as something related to someone’s view, judgment and assessment on something. The view may be influenced by one’s experience, culture, belief or knowledge. It is clear that ‘perception’ may change due to age, since the longer we live the more experience and wisdom we get. However, perception is not simply the above matter. It can also be viewed from many different angles. I have been interested in knowing more about perception and how this world is perceived from the spectacle of phenomenologist. To get that, I read the book titled Phenomenology of Perception written by French philosopher, Maurice Merleau Ponti who introduced phenomenological thought to France.

In this book, Merleau-Ponty shows how basic features of human experience, such as the perception of objects as independent of us, space and time, and rationality are all inseparable from the structure of the human body. Beginning with things as they show themselves in perception, he discovers that things do not simply impose themselves on consciousness as atomistic sense impressions, nor do we construct things in our minds. Rather, things as we experience them are discovered through a subject-object dialogue. He combined a new way of thinking about the basic structure of human life with reflections on art, literature and politics. In order to understand how Merleau-Ponty understands this subject-object dialogue, we first need to understand a new idea, something which Merleau-Ponty brought to phenomenology: the idea of the lived body. This is a central theme of Phenomenology of Perception.

His discussion of the intentionality of consciousness - especially of the ways in which things are presented in perception – and of the role of the body in perception are recognized as important contribution to the understanding of this topics.
“…. one of the great achievements of modern art and philosophy … has been to allow us to rediscover the world in which we live, yet which we are always prone to forget “.
This world which we are to rediscover is ‘the world of perception’, which is the world as we perceive it, ‘the perceived world’ as it is often called. This book is to explore this perceived world, in order to enable readers to ‘rediscover’ it for themselves.

I have been slowly re-reading every chapter of this book over the past 2 months, even though on some subchapter I just picked up part that I like. It took ages for me to finish reading this massive volume book because I often had to re-read many part carefully to get the points. The language is not quite simple as I found some single words which I could not find in the common dictionary neither in thesaurus, though I eventually found the words in ‘Illustrated Dictionary of Psychology’ compiled and edited by Louis Smith, that I fortunately own. A tough book to get through but one of the most important in philosophy. Even if you just read the preface and introduction, the massive volume of this book will blow your mind. I got many new knowledge about other philosophers of various ‘ism’ i.e. positivism, rationalism, existentialism, idealism, skepticism etc. since he always discuss comparison between his view and other philosophers’ view on the same objects, followed by dense analysis from his sight. At least I got the better idea of the basic different conceptual philosophy between German philosophers and French philosophers in general. I may re read this book some other time. To me this book is a brain food that is worthwhile.


alina said...

nice blog !

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

Congratulations Admin! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this exciting information.
Click Here

Search Web

Custom Search
Translate This Page

U Comment I Follow

This Blog is part of the U Comment I Follow movement in blogosphere.Means the comment field of this blog is made DOFOLLOW.Spam wont be tolerated.

Blogger Widgets

Join the movement and Get this widget

since 21 March 2009

free counters


Internet Marketing
LinkAlizer makes it easy and fast for you to to find link exchange partners and increase traffic.
OSC Website Templates
E-commerce / oscommerce templates are prepared so it is easy to insert your personal products and content. The major benefits of E-commerce templates compared to custom design are that you save a lot of time & money as the design and the store are already done.