“Everyone is alone and yet nobody can do without other people”*

*Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in The World of Perception (1948).

Image: (Lithuania Tribune) “Sculpture to French philosopher Sartre in Lithuanian resort of Nida. Sculptor Klaudijus Pūdymas made the bronze sculpture based on a photograph by Lithuanian photographer Antanas Sutkus. Authorities in the Curonian Spit municipality of Neringa expect the sculpture to become a pole of attraction for French tourists. However, some criticize the decision to commemorate Sartre’s visit, which was used by Soviet authorities for propaganda purposes.”

From: Landmarks (2015), by Robert Macfarlane:

“In the mountains, (Nan Shepherd) writes, a life of the senses is lived so purely that ‘the body may be said to think’. This is her book’s most radical proposition. Radical because, as a philosophical position, it was cutting-edge. In the same years that Shepherd was writing The Living Mountain, the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty was developing his influential theories of the body-subject, as laid out in his Phenomenology of Perception (1945). Merleau-Ponty was at the time working as a professional philosopher in Paris with all the institutional support and vocational confidence that such a position brings. He had been trained as one of the French philosophical elite, studying alongside Sartre, De Beauvoir and Simone Weil at the Ecole Normale Superieure, where he passed the aggregation in philosophy in 1930. Shepherd was a teacher in an Aberdeen tertiary college, but her philosophical conclusions concerning colour-perception, touch and embodied knowledge are arrestingly similar to those of Merleau-Ponty.

For Merleau-Ponty, post-Cartesian philosophy had cleaved a false divide between the body and the mind…”


Click to access Teaching%20Note%20Shepherd%20School%20Prize.pdf

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