The Sense of Space

Review of Metaphysics 59 (3):665-666 (2006)

Glenn Statile
St. John's University
The book consists of two major parts of three chapters apiece which are framed between: an introduction, which succinctly explains the primacy of the phenomenological dimension of depth, which concerns the distance between ourselves and things prior to any quantitative or inferential objectivization of experience; and a conclusion, which deals with some of the ethical implications stemming from our phenomenological construction of space. The focus of part 1 is to present the sense of the body as consisting of an expressive topology based upon features such as mobility and other developmental factors, while part 2 demonstrates how our concept of place contributes to our sense of depth and orientation within a social environment. Forging such a sense of space in our dynamic relation to the world requires, according to Morris, that we eschew approaches which trade upon inferences drawn from a reduction of experience to an underlying order that exists prior to perception, and that we realize that it is we ourselves who actively constitute our sense of space. What this means, says Morris, following the example of ecological psychology, is that the emergence of perception is analogous to other phenomena that spontaneously arise from processes of self-organization. Morris cites Berkeley, whose dismantlement of dualism led the way to a better appreciation of the complete coordination of previously segregated facets of experience, as the forerunner of the intrinsic approach to the ordering of experience.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph2006593101
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