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Brian Irwin
State University of New York, Stony Brook
  1.  32
    An Enactivist Account of Abstract Words: Lessons From Merleau-Ponty.Brian Irwin - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (1):133-153.
    Enactivist accounts of language use generally treat concrete words in terms of motor intentionality systems and affordances for action. There is less consensus, though, regarding how abstract words are to be understood in enactivist terms. I draw on Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy to argue, against the representationalist paradigm that has dominated the cognitive scientific and philosophical traditions, that language is fundamentally a mode of participation in our world. In particular, language orients us within our milieus in a manner that extends into (...)
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  2.  20
    Architecture as Participation in the World: Merleau-Ponty, Wölfflin, and the Bodily Experience of the Built Environment.Brian Irwin - 2019 - Architecture Philosophy 4 (1).
    Many discussions of Merleau-Ponty’s treatment of the bodily experience of space turn to his opus Phenomenology of Perception, where he most explicitly takes up the theme. Yet in Merleau-Ponty’s own view this treatment, while providing rich and valuable insights into spatial experience, remains unsatisfying: ultimately Phenomenology of Perception does not escape a dualism that, despite the work’s inestimable contributions to the philosophy of embodied experience, situates it within a flawed tradition running back through Husserl, Kant, and Descartes. As Merleau-Ponty himself (...)
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    Abstract City: The Phenomenological Basis for the Failures of Modernist Urban Design.Brian Irwin - 2019 - Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 6 (1):41-58.
    ABSTRACTMany critics have pointed to the failures of modernist urban design, which include its obliteration of thriving neighborhoods, isolation of functions and production of alienating spaces hostile to the human form. Less focus has been placed on defining the source of the modernists’ errors. This essay argues that these errors were in part due to neglect of the nature of fully embodied experience, a neglect manifested in an overwhelmingly visual disposition in embodiment. The author argues that a visual disposition is (...)
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