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Life and Perceptual Intentionality

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Husserl is the first philosopher who has managed to account for the specificity of perception, characterized as givenness by sketches (Abschattungen); but neither Husserl nor Merleau-Ponty have given a satisfying definition of the subject of perception. This article tries to show that the subject of perception must be conceived as living being and that, therefore, the phenomenology of perception must lead to a phenomenology of life. Here, life is approached from an existential point of view, that is to say, as a specific relationship to the world. However, life cannot be characterized from human existence in a privative way, as in Heidegger's philosophy: on the contrary, human existence, and particularly perception itself, must be understood from vital existence, and accordingly, an "additive" anthropology must replace the privative zoology. The hypothesis of this article is that it is by characterizing life as desire, we are able to account for perception as givenness by sketches.

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