Merleau-Ponty, Lived Body, and Place: Toward a Phenomenology of Human Situatedness

  • David SeamonEmail author
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 95)


In this chapter, I draw on French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of perception and corporeal sensibility to consider the significance of human situatedness as expressed via place and place experience. To illustrate how Merleau-Ponty’s conceptual understanding might be applied to real-world place experiences, I draw on two sources of experiential evidence, the first of which is a passage from Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez’s magical-realist novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967/1970). The second source is a set of first-person observations describing events and situations that I happened to take note of during weekday walks between my home and university office over the course of several months. My aim is to use these two narrative accounts as a means to illustrate, via vignettes of everyday human experience, Merleau-Ponty’s central concepts of perception, body-subject, and lived embodiment. I contend that these accounts substantiate Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological claims and point to additional significant elements of human situatedness and place experience.


Merleau-Ponty Phenomenology Place Situatedness Body-subject Body schema Lived body Environmental embodiment Habit Corporeality 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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