quote by Maurice Merleau-Ponty

We must therefore rediscover, after the natural world, the social world, not as an object or sum of objects, but as a permanent field or dimension of existence.

— Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Most Powerful Phenomenological quotations

Because we are in the world, we are condemned to meaning, and we cannot do or say anything without its acquiring a name in history.

To begin with, we put the proposition: pure phenomenology is the science of pure consciousness.

The body is our general medium for having a world.

Ordinary speciation remains fully adequate to explain the causes and phenomenology of punctuation.

Like the weaver, the writer works on the wrong side of his material.

He has only to do with the language, and it is thus that he suddenly finds himself surrounded by sense.

Our view of man will remain superficial so long as we fail to go back to that origin [of silence], so long as we fail to find, beneath the chatter of words, the primordial silence, and as long as we do not describe the action which breaks this silence. the spoken word is a gesture, and its meaning, a world.

The phenomenological world is not the bringing to explicit expression of a pre-existing being, but the laying down of being. Philosophy is not the reflection of a pre-existing truth, but, like art, the act of bringing truth into being.

Contrary to what phenomenology- which is always phenomenology of perception- has tried to make us believe, contrary to what our desire cannot fail to be tempted into believing, the thing itself always escapes.

Thus "phenomenology" means αποφαινεσθαι τα φαινομενα -- to let that which shows itself be seen from itself in the very way in which it shows itself from itself.

The child lives in a world which he unhesitatingly believes accessible to all around him.

The ideal of a pure phenomenology will be perfected only by answering this question; pure phenomenology is to be separated sharply from psychology at large and, specifically, from the descriptive psychology of the phenomena of consciousness.

For me, making a photograph is mostly an intellectual process of understanding people or cities and their historical and phenomenological connections. At that point the photo is almost made, and all that remains is the mechanical process.

The full meaning of a language is never translatable into another.

We may speak several languages but one of them always remains the one in which we live. In order completely to assimilate a language it would be necessary to make the world which it expresses one's own and one never does belong to two worlds at once.

Pure phenomenology claims to be the science of pure phenomena.

This concept of the phenomenon, which was developed under various names as early as the eighteenth century without being clarified, is what we shall have to deal with first of all.

When the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large scientific method in most cases fails. One need only think of the weather, in which case the prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible.

Language transcends us and yet we speak.

The use of neuroscientific data to help resolve phenomenological questions is proving a common theme in much contemporary thinking about the mind. How rich are the contents of visual perception? Does vision only tell us about shapes and colours, or does it also represent higher categories like lemon or umbrella?

Phenomenology is not a philosophy; it is a philosophical method, a tool. It is like an adjustable spanner that can be used for dismantling a refrigerator or a car, or used for hammering in nails, or even for knocking somebody out.

Phenomenology is dialectic in ear-mode - a massive and decentralized quest for roots, for ground.

On the methodological issue, I think that would be hopeless to try to adjudicate between my view and orthodoxy by appeal to phenomenological introspection. We need to know about brain mechanisms.

I discover vision, not as a 'thinking about seeing,' to use Descartes expression, but as a gaze at grips with a visible world, and that is why for me there can be another's gaze.

I hate intellectual discussion. When I hear the words 'phenomenology' or 'structuralism', I reach for my buck knife.

It can be really weird to say, 'Hey man, let's make a record and start with this horrible zither sound.' But I was obsessed with the idea of taking a sound and completely phenomenologically thrashing it."

Consciousness is phenomenologically subjective whenever there is a stable, consciously experienced first-person perspective.

I believe we should really take our own phenomenology more seriously.

What a good theory of conscious must explain is the variance in this subjective sense of realness: There clearly is a phenomenology of "hyperrealness", for example during religious experiences or under the influence of certain psychoactive substances.

I am a spectator, so to speak, of the molecular whirlwind which men call individual life; I am conscious of an incessant metamorphosis, an irresistible movement of existence, which is going on within me - and this phenomenology of myself serves as a window opened upon the mystery of the world.

Our knowledge and our ability to handle our problems progress through the open conflict of ideas, through the tests of phenomenological adequacy, inner consistency, and practical-moral consequences. Reason may err, but it can be moral. If we must err, let it be on the side of our creativity, our freedom, our betterment.

By following "the path of reverie"-a constantly downhill path-consciousness relaxes and wanders-and consequently becomes clouded. So it is never the right time, when one is dreaming, to "do phenomenology."

It is the essence of certainty to be established only with reservations.

For me Henry Corbin, the way that he writes about certain esoteric matters, is in a phenomenological way that refuses a New Age lens. But at the same time he's very much responsible for a lot of New Age thought, because he was a very syncretic thinker.

We have no proper understanding of the relationship between conscious thought and conscious sensation. The various forms of thought and sensation are underpinned by very different neural mechanisms; so how can the neural correlate of their conscious natures be the same? I don't think we are yet in a position to make such speculations. To make progress, we have to have a good conception of the phenomenology of consciousness, among other things.

I was trying to develop a notion of "non-dialectical negativity" as part of a concept of extinction that would transform the understanding of death and time elaborated in phenomenology.

But if I did read, say, [Maurice] Merleau-Ponty, for instance, it always seemed to me that the parts that I understood in what he was talking about - and I read him because - well, he wrote a book, well, the Phenomenology of Perception [New York: Humanities Press, 1962]. And it seemed to me that perception had a lot do with how we take in art.

In ordinary life, the phenomenology of embodied emotions is an excellent example for dynamic changes between transparency and opacity: You can "directly perceive" that your wife is cheating you, or you can become aware of the possibility that maybe it is you who has a problem, that your "immediate" emotional representation of social reality might actually be a misrepresentation.