European Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):763-779 (2018)

Authors
Gabrielle Jackson
State University of New York, Stony Brook
Abstract
I develop an interpretation of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's concept of motor intentionality, one that emerges out of a reading of his presentation of a now classic case study in neuropathology—patient Johann Schneider—in Phenomenology of Perception. I begin with Merleau-Ponty's prescriptions for how we should use the pathological as a guide to the normal, a method I call triangulation. I then turn to his presentation of Schneider's unusual case. I argue that we should treat all of Schneider's behaviors as pathological, not only his abstract movements, as is commonly acknowledged in the secondary literature, but also crucially his concrete movements. Using these facts of Schneider's illness, I reconstruct a ‘fundamental function’ of consciousness, as Merleau-Ponty called it, in which there are two kinds of bodily agency: the power of the body to be solicited by a situation and the power of the body to project a situation. I propose that these powers became dissociated in Schneider's case, as evidenced by his abstract and concrete movements, while in the normal case, these powers comprise a dynamic unity, enacted as motor intentionality. I also discuss how my interpretation complements Merleau-Ponty's assertion that motor intentions exist between mind and matter.
Keywords Merleau-Ponty  motor intentionality  neuropathology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1111/ejop.12301
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Aron Gurwitsch, M. Merleau-Ponty & Colin Smith - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):417.
On Female Body Experience: "Throwing Like a Girl" and Other Essays.Iris Marion Young - 1990 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 1 (1):178-181.
Motor Intentionality and the Case of Schneider.Rasmus Thybo Jensen - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (3):371-388.
The Kantian Roots of Merleau-Ponty's Account of Pathology.Samantha Matherne - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (1):124-149.
Merleau–Ponty on the Body.Sean Dorrance Kelly - 2002 - Ratio 15 (4):376–391.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Unchosen Transformative Experiences and the Experience of Agency.Jelena Markovic - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-17.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Motor Intentionality and the Case of Schneider.Rasmus Thybo Jensen - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (3):371-388.
Merleau–Ponty on the Body.Sean Dorrance Kelly - 2002 - Ratio 15 (4):376–391.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-10-05

Total views
932 ( #6,840 of 2,498,788 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
323 ( #1,419 of 2,498,788 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes