Body and World

Overview

Body and World is the definitive edition of a book that shouldnow take its place as a major contribution to contemporary existentialphenomenology. Samuel Todes goes beyond MartinHeidegger and MauriceMerleau-Ponty in his description of how independent physical natureand experience are united in our bodily action. His account allows himto preserve the authority of experience while avoiding the tendencytoward idealism that threatens both Heidegger andMerleau-Ponty.Todes emphasizes the complex structure of the human ...

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Overview

Body and World is the definitive edition of a book that shouldnow take its place as a major contribution to contemporary existentialphenomenology. Samuel Todes goes beyond MartinHeidegger and MauriceMerleau-Ponty in his description of how independent physical natureand experience are united in our bodily action. His account allows himto preserve the authority of experience while avoiding the tendencytoward idealism that threatens both Heidegger andMerleau-Ponty.Todes emphasizes the complex structure of the human body ;front/back asymmetry, the need to balance in a gravitational field, and so forth ;and the role that structure plays in producing the spatiotemporal field of experience and in making possible objective knowledge of the objects in it. He shows that perception involves nonconceptual, but nonetheless objective forms of judgment. One can think of Body and World as fleshing out Merleau-Ponty's project while presciently relating it to the current interest in embodiment, not only in philosophy but also in psychology,linguistics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and anthropology. Todes's work opens new ways of thinking about problems such as the relation of perception to thought and the possibility of knowing an independent reality ;problems that have occupied philosophers since Kant and still concern analytic and continental philosophy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A much needed and insightful account that stays with the phenomenological evidence,a rich phenomenological resource." Shaun Gallagher The Times Literary (UK)

"How did masturbation, arguably the safest sexual act, come to be seen as a moral aberration with ghastly physical effects? Laqueur is persuasive. An engaging writer." Briefly NotedThe New Yorker

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262700825
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 383
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Todes was Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University at the time of his death in 1994. Body and World is based on his dissertation, written in 1963and published in 1990 in the series Harvard Dissertations in Philosophy under the title TheHuman Body as Material Subject of the World.

Hubert L. Dreyfus is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California atBerkeley.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction I: Todes's Account of Nonconceptual Perceptual Knowledge and Its Relation to Thought
Introduction II: How Todes Rescues Phenomenology from the Threat of Idealism
Author's Introduction 1
1 The Classic View of the Way the Human Subject Has His Body, and Descartes's Rejection of It 10
2 Critique of the Resulting World-Subject of Leibniz and Hume, with an Introductory Exposition of the Thesis That the Human Body Is the Material Subject of the World 23
3 Introductory Discussion of Kant's View That the Human Subject Makes the World of His Experience 90
4 Development of the Phenomenology of Practical Perception, as a Prelude to the Criticism That Kant Imaginizes Perception 102
5 The Phenomenology of Imagination, as a Final Prelude to the Criticism that Kant Imaginizes Perception 130
6 Development of the Thesis That the Human Body Is the Material Subject of the World, as a Critique of Kant's View That the Human Subject Makes the World of His Experience 155
General Conclusion 262
App. I The Subject Body in Perception and Conception: A Brief Sketch 263
App. II Sensuous Abstraction and the Abstract Sense of Reality 269
App. III Anticipatory Postscript 277
Notes 293
Index 319
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