A developed nature: A phenomenological account of the experience of home

Continental Philosophy Review 42 (3):355-373 (2009)
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Abstract

Though “dwelling” is more commonly associated with Heidegger’s philosophy than with that of Merleau-Ponty, “being-at-home” is in fact integral to Merleau-Ponty’s thinking. I consider the notion of home as it relates to Merleau-Ponty’s more familiar notions of the “lived body” and the “level,” and, in particular, I consider how the unique intertwining of activity and passivity that characterizes our being-at-home is essential to our nature as free beings. I argue that while being-at-home is essentially an experience of passivity—i.e., one that rests in the background of our experience and provides a support and structure for our life that goes largely unnoticed and that is significantly beyond our “conscious” control—being-at-home is also a way of being to which we attain . This analysis of home reveals important psychological insights into the nature of our freedom as well as into the nature of the development of our adult ways of coping and behaving.

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Kirsten Jacobson
University of Maine

References found in this work

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
The Absent Body.Drew Leder - 1990 - University of Chicago Press.

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