Human Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 361-376

First online:

Merleau-Ponty and Epistemology Engines

  • DON IHDEAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Stony Brook University Email author 
  • , EVAN SELINGERAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology

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One of us coined the notion of an “epistemology engine.” The idea is that some particular technology in its workings and use is seen suggestively as a metaphor for the human subject and often for the production of knowledge itself. In this essay, we further develop the conceptand claim that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological commitments, although suggestive, did not lead him to appreciate the epistemological value of materiality. We also take steps towards establishing how an understanding of this topic can provide the basis for reinterpreting the history of phenomenology.

camera obscura embodiment epistemology Merleau-Ponty Maurice perception technoscience