The darkness in the theatre : Merleau-Ponty and film

MacGillivray, Jenina (2001) The darkness in the theatre : Merleau-Ponty and film. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis will examine the notion of the virtual body present in the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, with particular attention paid to the Phenomenology of Perception. For Merleau-Ponty, the body is not, as it is in empiricism and idealism, a simple transmitter of data for the mind. For Merleau-Ponty, the body must be seen as situated, that is, as a lived body. The complex lived structures of the body, i.e., its operative intentionality, memory, spatial and temporal orientation, all contribute to the way in which the body is the ground of reflexive understanding. That is, for Merleau-Ponty, the pre-reflexive- or, the lived body - grounds the reflexive. The body figures in consciousness, and in understanding, in a developmental way. Rather than seeing consciousness and understanding as a formal object positing' system, Merleau-Ponty maintains that it is relational and cannot be understood apart from its phenomenal field. Perception is the best expression of this relational structure, for when we perceive and understand objects, we carry forward all our bodily experience - Merleau-Ponty calls it the body image-and this allows for the concurrent working out and clarification of meaning. This bodyimage, or virtual body, can be examined well through the film experience. So, as Merleau-Ponty suggests, we will look to film, for, as Merleau-Ponty puts it in The Film and the New Psychology: [t]he movies are well suited to make manifest the union of mind and body, mind and world, and the expression of one in the other.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1398
Item ID: 1398
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 88-89
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 2001
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 1908-1961--Criticism and interpretation; Human body (Philosophy)

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