"Inhabiting" in the Phenomenology of Perception

Philosophy Today 4 (4):342-353 (1990)
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Two key phenomena of Merleau-Ponty's _Phenomenology of Perception are habit and inhabiting. Their chief characteristics, respectively, are generalizing actions and actively familiarizing. They are essentially and reciprocally related: inhabiting consists of being in habits and habitual actions are a way of inhabiting. The article focuses on three aspects of Merleau-Ponty's discussions: habit as simultaneously motor and perceptual, the interplay of sedimentation and spontaneity, and the body's inhabiting of space and incorporating of expressive spatiality. Merleau-Ponty's typist example and four examples of the author illustrate that the relationship of habit and inhabiting is a basic structure of being-in-the-world



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