Body and world: The correlation between the virtual and the actual through phenomenological reflections via Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze

Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 20 (1):e1863564 (2020)
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ABSTRACT The current article deals with the correlation between virtual and physical reality as they concern the body. The thesis of this article is that the lived body transposed into virtual reality becomes a body without organs in Deleuze’s terms, i.e. the lived body, a sensitive field of sensorial events immersed in a lived space, becomes a virtual body made up of intensities, of pure forces or magnitudes within a vector space, thereby losing its affective qualities. Furthermore, lived and virtual bodies build up a correlation bridged not by intentionality, as phenomenology would maintain, but by sensation. Virtuality is thus characterised by both the loss of corporeality and the simulation of the lifeworld. But how can the split between the real and the virtual body be bridged? On the one hand, in Deleuze’s conception of sensation, real and virtual collapse into one another so that the real world ‘resonates’ with its virtual double. On the other hand, Merleau-Ponty’s concept of form relates both realities in terms of a correlation of signification between the physical and the existential realms. With recourse to the notion of structure or form, I will argue that the phenomenal and the virtual do not represent different modes of being, but are bound by a correlation ruled by sensation as a system of intensive forces.



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References found in this work

Sense and Non-Sense.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1964 - [Evanston, Ill.]: Northwestern University Press.
The prose of the world.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1973 - Evanston,: Northwestern University Press.
Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation.Gilles Deleuze - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (4):392-394.

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