Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of PerceptionIn his investigation of the Phenomenology of Perception , Maurice Merleau-Ponty defines phenomenology as the study of essences, including the essence of perception and of consciousness. He also says, however, that phenomenology is a method of describing the nature of our perceptual contact with the world. Phenomenology is concerned with providing a direct description of human experience. Perception is the background of experience which guides every conscious action. The world is a field for perception, and human consciousness assigns meaning to the world. We cannot separate ourselves from our perceptions of the world.
The work established Merleau-Ponty as the pre-eminent philosopher of the body, and is considered a major statement of French existentialism. Merleau-Ponty attempts to define phenomenology , which according to him has not yet received a proper definition. He asserts that phenomenology contains a series of apparent contradictions, which include the fact that it attempts to create a philosophy that would be a rigorous science while also offering an account of space , time and the world as people experience them. Following Husserl, Merleau-Ponty attempts to reveal the phenomenological structure of perception. He writes that while the "notion of sensation
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Merleau-Ponty French phenomenological philosopher, born in and deceased in refers to habit in various passages of his Phenomenology of Perception as a relevant issue in his philosophical and phenomenological position. These two characteristics of human existence bear a close relation with the vision of an embodied mind sustained by Gallagher and Zahavi in their work The Phenomenological Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science. Merleau-Ponty uses concepts like those of the lived or own body and of lived space in order to emphasize, from a first-person perspective, the co-penetration that exists between subject and world. Gallagher and Zahavi have regained the experience of phenomenology, especially that of Merleau-Ponty and Sartre, to contribute to the development of the cognitive sciences. Additionally, the idea of a pre-reflexive understanding is conceived of by these authors as a way for refuting those introspective or reflexive explanations that derive from the Cartesian tradition and which are promoted by certain contemporary authors see, for instance, Dennett, ; Price and Aydede, In this article I propose to explain the role that habit plays in the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty and the use that Gallagher and Zahavi make of his theory in their work on cognitive science.