Merleau Ponty's Paradox Of The Body Analysis

Improved Essays
Merleau-Ponty describes the painter’s way off being in the world as unique to that of a writer, scientist, philosopher or musician. The act of painting – the physical relation of the painter to the world – is detached from the direct demands of life. Within seeing and painting the painter’s eyes and hands discover a skill to which the painter gives himself over to drawing from the world.
Before we go onto investigating the nature of painting, we must first understand what it means for a human being to be in the world. This being in the world must be read phenomenologically and not theoretically and objectively.
Not only do we as human beings move among each other and through the physical world, but we can also see each other and the physical
…show more content…
The human body is an object that experience itself as itself and which are experienced within a world of other things outside itself. This can be explained physically by means of example that the one hand can touch the other hand. The second hand is both touched by the first hand and also touches the first hand. These are both experiences of the same body.
This paradox contribute to a conclusion that “the world is made of the very stuff of the body”. And since it is already determined that the body and vision are inseparable, it can be said that vision, body and world are ultimately intertwined (Merleau-Ponty, 1993:128). The human body is a thing among other things, bound up in the fabric of this world – the physical. It is at this point that Merleau-Ponty’s work is narrated by a metaphor.
“The human by is present when, between the seer and the visible, between toughing and touched, between one eye and the other, between hand and hand a kind of cross over occurs, when the spark of sensing/sensible is lit, when the fire starts to burn that will not cease until some accident befalls the body, undoing what no accident would have sufficed to do…” (Merleau-Ponty,
…show more content…
These thoughts are implemented in the act of painting. The elements of vision – light, colour and depth – are not physical attributes to our vision, they are not tangible objects or real things however, their existence are real. They appear in front of us only because our bodies recognise their existence in themselves. Herein we find that the visible stuff in the world has an “internal equivalent” in our bodies (Merleau-Ponty, 1993:129). This “internal equivalent” should not be understood simply as a representation of that which are visible to the body. We do however experience the presence of the things visible in an intuitive way. We can’t distinct between the thing we see and the idea we have of it just as there are no distinction between that which are seen and the one who sees. In painting this distinctless relation is also present between the image and its

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Secondary qualities are sensibility or a power in the body that allows our mind to create and idea of the object that is being perceived. In which motion and external are in our organism and these he considers as original qualities. The qualities are separable from the body because he considers that there is a motion and external that allows the body organism to perceive an idea of an object. They can also be mode of primary qualities such as bulk, figure, texture and motion and a power that produces those sensations in our body that is being perceived in our minds. Therefore I agree with John Locke’s argument of secondary and primary qualities being inseparable and separable from the body allowing them to create any type of idea in our mind and allowing the sensation of that object or idea in our body.…

    • 813 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    He argues about the material world and its real meaning and leaves us with a world that consist solely of material objects, offering no real reason why it exist. Back to the colors, taste, and sounds, they are not explained properly and are not signs of the way the world really is. The material world that he has proved exists is lacking of exactly those qualitative features that make it such an interesting place. Such as happiness, love, morality and ethics. Another issue that I have with the Sixth Meditation is the relationship between the mind and the body.…

    • 1475 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He claims that despite this, theories attempting to define art are not irrelevant as they help to build on understanding of what art is. Weitz maintains that the fact that art cannot be defined is evident in the way in which theories that attempt to do just that are disproven and improved by other theories in a continuous cycle. Furthermore, Weitz argues that what one theorist understands to be fundamental in defining art, another will understand to be irrelevant. The fact that these theories contradict each other does not mean to say that they are all false, but rather its supports Weitz’ claim that there is no single definition for art (Weitz…

    • 1030 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Avicenna in his major work Kitab Al-Najat argues that the human soul is not material. He argues that the rational faculty, namely the soul, does not know through physical organ. In this sense, he can prove that the soul is not inhered in the material body, therefore indicating that the soul is immaterial. Avicenna argued in Kitab Al-Najat that “for there is no organ between the rational faculty and itself, nor does one intervene between it and its organ or between it and the fact that it knows”. (Avicenna, 51) As in his previous argument and experience, the rational faculty has direct access to the knowledge of itself without any intermediary.…

    • 725 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It is a process of relating and making sense of things around us. In order for this to occur, a human body is needed, and we need to experience the world in some way, be perturbed and make sense of this. Our body’s structure and functions influence what we experience and how we observe and explain these experiences, therefore affecting human mind. Our body is also affected by how we use our mind. Therefore, our body and our mind are both affected by each other, but are two separate things.…

    • 1099 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This shows that the supervenient properties (mental properties) depend on the base properties (physical properties) (Dependence). This, does not imply, the proponent of the supervenience theory claims, that the mental is reducible to the physical. This theory is neutral about metaphysical commitments and claims that the dependence of the supervenient on the subvenient (the base property) does not mean that the supervenient can be explained away in terms of the subvenient, or that everything we can say about the supervenient can be analyzed in terms of the properties of the subvenient. ‘Determination of A by B does not imply that A and B are not distinct.’ (Non-deducibility) Neither does this latter claim of non-reducibility of the mental to the physical commit the theory to the metaphysical doctrine of property…

    • 3074 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Berkeley’s view on this is incoherent as it does not make sense as to why something cannot exist externally because we can only think of it through senses. A common claim for the existence of the mind is to say that we can sense that it is there. If that is the case, then it is not unreasonable to suggest that other objects and ideas exist on their own because we can sense them as well. A counterargument to this could be to say that we cannot perceive of our minds not existing, unlike other ideas. However, I can perceive of other peoples’ minds not existing as they can perceive my mind not existing.…

    • 1136 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Dualism Argument Analysis

    • 827 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In this paper, I argue, the human brain and the human mind are two separate entities present in the human body. To demonstrate this point I put forward the following supportive position. The brain and mind of human beings are different from each other. That the brain and mind have distinct roles in human beings. For the first counter argument, I will consider the physical aspect of materialism in regards to the mind and brain.…

    • 827 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Mind Vs Body

    • 1529 Words
    • 7 Pages

    As we know, the body also helps one to feel the environment and the physical pain. So how is the mind and the body different? We have to recognize that there are philosophers or people who believe the Mind and the Body are two different entities, while there are those who believe the activities that one sometimes attributes to the mind are all activities of the…

    • 1529 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Mind/Body Problem

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Light reflected from the body of an animal and entering through our two eyes. It is clear from this statement by Descartes, that he potentially believed a dualistic view of interactionism. This would mean that he sometimes believed that mental events can cause bodily events and thus, bodily events can sometimes cause mental events, showing that the mind and body are linked in someway. This ultimately contradicts the theory of dualism which is the major fault in his…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays