I argue that Merleau-Ponty’s use of the case of Schneider in his arguments for the existence of non-conconceptual and non-representational motor intentionality contains a problematic methodological ambiguity. Motor intentionality is both to be revealed by its perspicuous preservation and by its contrastive impairment in one and the same case. To resolve the resulting contradiction I suggest we emphasize the second of Merleau-Ponty’s two lines of argument. I argue that this interpretation is the one in best accordance both with Merleau-Ponty’s general (...) methodology and with the empirical case of Schneider as it was described by Gelb and Goldstein. (shrink)
McDowell and Merleau-Ponty share a critical attitude towards a certain Cartesian picture of the mind. According to the picture in question nothing which properly belongs to subjectivity can be hidden to the subject herself. Nevertheless there is a striking asymmetry in how the two philosophers portray the problematic consequences of such a picture. They can seem to offer exact opposite views of these consequences, which, given the almost identical characterization of the transparency claim, is puzzling. I argue that a closer (...) look at the prima facie puzzling asymmetry dissolves the apparent disagreement and reveals a deeper agreement concerning both the nature and the origin of the problems haunting the Cartesian picture in question. Both McDowell and Merleau-Ponty argue that on the picture of the relation of between mind and world in question, we lose our grip on the very idea of a perceptual appearance. Furthermore, the two authors regard a certain conception of nature as conceived in the image of science, as one of the crucial elements in making the picture of the mind in question look attractive. (shrink)
McDowell recently renounced the assumption that the content of any knowledgeable, perceptual judgement must be included in the content of the knowledge grounding experience. We argue that McDowell’s introduction of a new category of non-inferential, perceptual knowledge is incompatible with the main line of argument in favour of conceptualism as presented in Mind and World [McDowell, John. 1996. Mind and World. 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press]. We reconstruct the original line of argument and show that it rests on (...) the assumption that a specific model of justification, the Comparison Model, must apply to all cases of non-inferential, perceptual knowledge. We then show that the Comparison Model cannot be applied to McDowell’s new category of non-inferential, perceptual knowledge. As a consequence, McDowell is in need of an alternative model of justification and an alternative argument for conceptualism. We propose such an alternative model of justification based on McDowell’s reading of Sellars, but argue that the model only serves to make the need for an alternative motivation for conceptualism more urgent. (shrink)
The 17 original essays of this volume explore the relevance of the phenomenological approach to contemporary debates concerning the role of embodiment in our cognitive, emotional and practical life. The papers demonstrate the theoretical vitality and critical potential of the phenomenological tradition both through critically engagement with other disciplines (medical anthropology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, the cognitive sciences) and through the articulation of novel interpretations of classical works in the tradition, in particular the works of Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jean-Paul Sartre. (...) The concrete phenomena analyzed in this book include: chronic pain, anorexia, melancholia and depression. (shrink)
How does perception provide reasons for our empirical judgements? This volume offers a set of new essays which in different ways address this fundamental question, and investigate the implications for our understanding of perceptual experience.