The "Existentialists": Part 5-Merleau-Ponty-The Humanist Existentialist

in philosophy •  5 months ago  (edited)

The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism
The "Existentialists": Part 5-Merleau-Ponty-The Humanist Existentialist

"Our body is the womb of experience" - charlie777pt

1- Introduction

"A metaphysics is a way of feeling things" - Fernando Pessoa in The Quest for the Occult Truth (1907-12)

Most people today still think that his actions should only be directed to one's emotional needs and material possessions, but freedom lies within our desire to see the other people free, as the only way to reach our own in society because you are not free while there are slaves or masters' will servants.
We must have our own ideals and never follow idealisms, that ultimately will kill all the values that started it in the first place, to be replaced with centralized institutions that have "laws" to impose the resulting ideologies and to suffocate critics with independent voices.

"The World has the usufruct of the reality that belongs to the Being" - Fernando Pessoa in The search for the Hidden Truth (1907-12)

Humanistic psychology was born in the gap between psychoanalysis and behaviorism to make a point about the individual driven by the empowering of self-actualization to boom our creativity and human potential.

"Dualism is basic in science: in metaphysics it is in monism. The starting point of Science is subject-object dualism, because it exists. The starting point of Metaphysics is subject-object dialectic monism, because it can not be "- Fernando Pessoa in The search for the Occult Truth (1907-12)

Emotional intelligence and human capital theories became possible to conceptualize in Humanist Psychology that was born between phenomenology and existentialism.
Perception lies between and contains sensations and intuition like a photo frame of situations inhabiting in the space of thought and feel or between the subject and the object.
Leibniz distinguishes perception from apperception (the conscious part of the first), Kant defines it as "a consciousness accompanied by sensations" and in modern psychology, it is accepted to be the apprehension of sensible objects with representations, sensations, and judgments.

In phenomenology perception is not immediate, it sees an apparent object and never the real one, and refuse the idealist assumption that this difference corresponds to thought or reflection.
The phenomenology of perception uses psychological structures with an ontological analyzing process as a mode of conscience that connects sensations to the acts of intelligence and the perceived world.

"Morality opposing science, which is the theory of what it is - and it is the theory of what it must be" - Fernando Pessoa in The Quest for the Occult Truth (1907-12)

2- Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-61) Flesh and Perception, the philosophy of The Body

"Our flesh embraces reality, with a perception that is invisible to our thoughts" - charlie777pt

The "perceptive body" a concept already developed by Kurt Goldstein in his gestalt theory of the brain-mind relationships, that is against the body-mind duality of cartesian thought, and this paradigm is also followed by Merlau Ponty showing that consciousness, reality, and the human body are a whole, grounded on perception and in mutual influence.

"In a sense the whole of philosophy, as Husserl says, consists in restoring a power to signify, a birth of meaning, or a wild meaning, an expression of experience by experience, which in particular clarifies the special domain of language. And, in a sense, as Valéry said, language is everything, since it is the voice of no one since it is the very voice of the things, the waves, and the forests."- Maurice Merleau-Ponty

For Ponty, the base of knowledge as a whole, is the capacity of perception of the surrounding reality to find meaning in what was received in our senses, and create a connection between the perceived objects.
The body is the shell where the human being exists in a purposeless, chaotic and irrational universe in which intersubjectivity, the meaning is generated.
Ponty sees physical senses and experience, as the basis of knowledge and self, and refuses the rationalist assertion that both are the result of reasoning and perception.

His ideas show us that body expression, the acquisition and the use of language as the mother of culture, lives in the individual thought and senses.
It's a phenomenology involving linguistics (influenced by Saussure), psychology structures and social anthropology, crossed with language acquisition and its pathologies or with arts like music, painting, cinema, and literature as manifestations of the body-subject.

Our human body is a perceiving object with consciousness in interaction with reality in a dynamic model of influences, that can't be separated but a whole, what Merleau-Ponty called the phenomenology of perception.
The phenomenon lays on the relation of our body with our sensory-motor system under the frame of reality, that constraints and at the same time it is interiorized in us some pre-conditions and learning patterns that conditionate action.

Reality and Self are the dancing pair on stage, in the scenario of desirable things in the present existence, with the jumping steps to the future.
The body is a perceptive organ that accumulates experience, based in the proprioceptive sensations of the state of one's self and kinesthetic awareness of the world, through the sensory-motor system and perception.

"Life becomes ideas and the ideas return to life."- Maurice Merleau-Ponty

For Ponty perception and sensation are explained with the quote:

"I might in the first place understand by sensation the way in which I'm affected and the experiencing of a state of myself." - Maurice Merleau-Ponty

One of the fields of phenomenology is to find the essences of perception and consciousness with an inner view of human experience.
The Perception of the fields of reality is the root of experience and the background of any conscious action to create meaning in the world
This contradicts the empiricist view of experience feeding knowledge and the rationalist conception pointing reasoning as the source of knowledge without the influence of perception.

Perception, as a mix of sensations and reason, is mastered by the attention, enabling conscious perceptive structures to generate reflections about it, where judgment is beyond reasoning and human experience that structures and give insights about it.
By reflection, Ponty means that objects are perceived inside consciousness, as well as living in the external world, and in this twilight is the distinction of its mutual structural relationships within space and time.

"Time and space can not by themselves give rise to individuality. Being is necessary. A dead man occupies Time and Space but does not have individuality, does not have Being "- Fernando Pessoa in The search of the Hidden Truth (1907-12)

Bio and psyche are working in our perceptions and consciousness, using sensory-motor data to project and give meaning and expression to our actions and speech, always working in the dialectics of existence and substance.
His deep passion for Marxism soon was transformed into a state of total denial of any kind of collectivism, that led to his clash with Sartre.
Individual thoughts are permutated through speech that also adds its own meaning, as the outside manifestation of the interrelation between people.

His definition of freedom is always the right possibility, as a personal choice in the fields of options, a way of living what he called "being-in-the-world" to transcend our essence and get closer to the truth.
Merleau-Ponty' s theories largely influenced today's aesthetics, literature. cinema and art theory.

"The truth is neither the thing that I see, nor the other man whom I also see with my eyes, nor finally that total unity of the sensible world and, at the limit, of the intelligible world which we were presently trying to describe. The truth is the objective, is what I have succeeded in determining by measurement, or more generally by the operations that are authorized by the variables or by the entities" - Maurice Merleau-Ponty in Visible and Invisible

It's by our choices that we become who we are, so be careful with your decisions that must be made with the objective of finding (your) Truth

."1- Everything is sensation
2- Sensation consists of the sensed object and sensation, properly so-called "
3 - Faced with this basic phenomenon of psychic life, humanity has three attitudes: science, philosophy (metaphysics), and art. "
4- Science melts sensation and object - ....
5 - Philosophy approximates sensation and object, seeks to investigate their intimate relationships "
- Fernando Pessoa in The Quest for the Occult Truth (1907-12)

More Merleau-ponty On Steemit:

Characteristics of cognitive processes sensation, perceptionpart 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 / part 5/ by @godflesh
Merleau-Ponty On Other Selves and the Human World - The Other Who Troubles Philosophy 3


Merleau-Ponty - Sensible Objects (English Subtitles)

Podcast: Partially Examined Life podcast - Merleau-Ponty - World of Perception

Todd May: Merleau-Ponty and his relevance for narrative therapy

The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism.
Published Posts:

I - Anarchism
II - Existentialism
Next posts on the Series:
II - Existentialism(Cont.)
  • Humanism and Existentialism
    • Part 1 - Humanistic Psychologists and Existencial Psychoterapies
    • Part 2 - The Fear of Freedom of Erich Fromm
  • Existentialism and Anarchism
  • The Future : Posthumanism, transhumanism and inhumanism
III - Decentralism
  • What is Decentralism?
  • The Philosophy of Decentralism
  • Blockchain and Decentralization
  • Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism
IV - Dialectic for Self-Liberation
  • Counterculture in the 60s
  • Psychedelics, Libertarian and artistic movements
  • The Dialectics of Liberation Congress
  • The Zen Buddism of Alan Watts
  • Psychoanalysis and Existentialism
  • The Anti-psychiatry movement
  • Anarchism, Existentialism, Decentralism and Self-Liberation
V - Conclusions and Epilogue
- charlie777pt on Steemit:
Social Reality: Violence, Power, and Change
Index of Chapter 1 - Anarchism of this series - Part 1 This Series:
Oizerman, Teodor
.O Existencialismo e a Sociedade. Em: Oizerman, Teodor; Sève, Lucien; Gedoe, Andreas, Problemas Filosóficos.2a edição, Lisboa, Prelo, 1974.
Sarah Bakewell, At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Others
Levy, Bernard-Henry , O Século de Sartre,Quetzal Editores (2000)
Jacob Golomb, In Search of Authenticity - Existentialism From Kierkegaard to Camus (1995)
Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society
Louis Sass, Madness and Modernism, Insanity in the light of modern art, literature, and thought (revised edition)
Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall, A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism (2006)
Charles Eisenstein, Ascent of Humanity
Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre(1956)
Herbert Read, Existentialism, Marxism and Anarchism (1949 )
Martin Heidegger, Letter on "Humanism"(1947)
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power (1968)
Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism And Human Emotions
Jean-Paul Sartre, O Existencialismo é um Humanismo
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Sense and Non-Sense
Michel Foucault, Power Knowledge Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977
Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom. New York: Henry Holt, (1941)
Erich Fromm, Man for Himself. 1986
Gabriel Marcel, Being and Having: an existentialist diary
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and The Invisible
Paul Ricoeur, Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences. Essays on Language, Action and Interpretation
Brigite Cardoso e Cunha, Psicanálise e estruturalismo (1979)
Paul Watzlawick, How Real is Reality?
G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia,
Robert C. Solomon, Existentialism
H.J.Blackham, Six existentialist thinkers
Étienne de La Boétie, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, or the Against-One (1576)

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