Re: [xmca] Looking forward by looking back, sort of.

From: Martin Packer <packer who-is-at>
Date: Tue Jul 03 2007 - 19:11:45 PDT


I'm going to disagree somewhat with your characterizations here. On the one
hand, I don't think Merleau-Ponty "locates the source of consciousness" in
the body. Descartes thought that consciousness was 'in' the body, no?
Merleau-Ponty's project is more radical than that: consciousness is a
structure of behavior - of the body in the world. And in a real sense for
him the body replaces talk of consciousness - certainly any 'constituting'

On the other hand, Heidegger's Dasein is certainly not an "abstracted
experience." Dasein is concrete practical activity, concerned engagement in
a public world of equipment. Heidegger's criticism of Husserl, and indeed of
most of the history of philosophy, was precisely that it had mistakenly
given priority to detached, abstracted experience ('present-at-hand' in
Heidegger's terminology).


On 7/3/07 4:22 PM, "Paul Dillon" <> wrote:

> Martin,
> Thanks for your post on Merleau-Ponty. He was also one of my favorite
> phenomenolgists, one who, unlike Husserl's other well-known disciples, Sartre
> and Heidegger, located the source of the structures of consciousness in a
> living human body and not in an already abstracted experience such as
> "being-for-itself" or Dasein. Perhaps that's the very reason he's not such a
> remembered figure as the others.
> Another phenomenologist who I really appreciated, the father of
> ethnomethodology, Alfred Schutz, also could provide a missing dimension to the
> discussion of the historical dimension of activity. I don't remember his
> precise terms at the moment but he identified three dimensions: the domain of
> all those who lived before anyone we know can remember, the dimension of those
> whom we know and those we know can remember, the dimension of all those who
> will live after anyone we know will live to know.
> Paul
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