The reading for this week is this extract from ‘Thought in action’.
- What is absorbed coping?
- Why must there be more to human action than this?
- What is the power to reckon with the possible?
- What is it to reckon with the actual?
- What can the agent who possesses this capacity do?
- Why can’t Schneider recognise Goldstein’s house unless he is going there?
- What does it mean to give bodily significance to a conceptual representation?
- How do thoughts bring about action, according to Merleau-Ponty?
- Can you give an example?
- Is this an attractive picture of action?
We’ve so far done quite a lot of scene-setting and only just started to look at Merleau-Ponty’s account of action. For the first seminar, I want to spend time checking that people have grasped the main ideas from Husserlian philosophy, and then think in a bit more detail about the account of action that Merleau-Ponty is starting to develop.
First, please review lectures notes so far, identify the key concepts, and anything you didn’t understand/want to go over again. Here are some questions to help with that task:
- What is the Transcendental-Phenomenological Reduction?
- What is the natural attitude?
- What is transcendental subjectivity?
- What is Husserl’s view of science?
- Why does the body cause problems for the early Husserl?
- What is the Lebenswelt?
- What is the Crisis?
- How do we solve it by using the idea of the Lebenswelt?
- What does Merleau-Ponty mean by Objective Thought?
Second, read this short extract and think about the following questions:
- What, according to the traditional account, are actions?
- What are ‘solicitations’? And ‘affordances’?
- How are solicitations involved in action, according to Merleau-Ponty?
- How does his account differ from the traditional account?
- How does Merleau-Ponty use the case of Schneider to support his claims?
- Do you think this is an attractive picture of action? Why or why not?
The readings and questions for the seminars will appear here each week.