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Structure et sensation dans la psychologie de la forme, chez Maurice Merleau-Ponty et William James

Abstract : We are trying here to object to Maurice Merleau-Ponty's attempt to reduce qua/ia to structural predicates, which is the way we understand his ontology of the "flesh", as he seems to us to develop it already in his first works on "expression". We are more generally objecting through him to any kind of "structural" theory concerning sensation, meaning by this any theory which claims that one cannot attribute a relation to a sensorial content without intrinsically altering it. Our task is complicated by the great number of empirical facts that Merleau-Ponty calls for to prove his structural theory. He notably finds great help in the structural interpretation Kurt Koffka had already laid down for these facts as a Gestalt psychologist. Consequently, we begin with the examination of this theory and of the facts that support it, showing that they cannot seem to corroborate a structural theory unless one confuses "abstraction" and "real separation" of a qua/e from its context. We then call for William James to support these conclusions, reminding that he had already showed the illegitimacy of the claim by the neo-Hegelian writers of his time to find empirical proof for their own structural theories in similar psychological data. He had also suggested a "knowledge by acquaintance" theory against those writers that we are trying to use in defense for introspection pure and simple.
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Éric Tremault. Structure et sensation dans la psychologie de la forme, chez Maurice Merleau-Ponty et William James. Philosophie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013PA010553⟩. ⟨tel-00839118⟩

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