Seeing Each Other

  • Eva Schuermann
Part of the Performance Philosophy book series (PPH)


The qualitative differences between seeing persons and seeing objects consist in the mutuality of seeing. While the power of the gaze to constitute identity is clearly delineated by Sartre, Lévinas shows how we cannot see a human face as an arbitrary object. Both theories, however, constitute regressions from Merleau-Ponty’s conception of the gaze as interlacing, in which the active and the receptive are always united. In Merleau-Ponty’s argument, the logical structure of reversibility assumes the place of both Sartre’s dichotomy and Lévinas’ asymmetry, and therefore offers a more just account of the ambiguity of seeing than subject-object thinking does.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Schuermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Otto-von-Guericke UniversityMagdeburgGermany

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