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Expression and The Structure of Behaviour

·3628 words
I summarise some of Merleau-Ponty’s ideas, and then outline concepts from Donald Landes’ book is organised (including concepts taken from Gilbert Simondon). Then I talk about Merleau-Ponty’s The Structure of Behaviour, and Landes’ understanding of it, before offering some comments. First, I suggest that there may be a tension between Merleau-Ponty’s emphasis upon perception and Simondon’s philosophy. Second, by incorporating Simondon’s notion of being as problematic, we can develop an account of bodily behaviour that is a marked improvement on Hubert Dreyfus’s interpretation of Merleau-Ponty, which over-emphasises the achievement of smooth equilibriums.


Atypical Morphology and the Normative Limits of Ability and Function

·4578 words
This paper concerns concepts that inform medical and social theories of impairment. It discusses impairment in relation to normal function, including its identification as deviation from normal health. It then draws upon phenomenological concepts to develop an alternate account of embodiment, as always already dependent upon relations with things outside itself. It posits that ’normal ability’ is consequently a socio-historical elaboration rather than an objectively existing state of affairs, and that the accompanying prioritisation of some modes of embodiment over others creates the phenomenon called disability. Finally, it outlines an alternative framework that eschews reference to transcendent norms for grounding in capacities and goals, however atypical, of embodied agents.