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Habitual Learning as Being-in-the-World: On Merleau-Ponty and the Experience of Learning

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In Phenomenology of Perception, both intellectualism and empiricism were blamed for not grasping consciousness in the act of learning. This was, Merleau-Ponty thought, due to an objective volatilizing of the subjective role of the lived body in perception. In order to overcome the difficulties in the tradition of learning and the philosophy of consciousness, Merleau-Ponty’s next important step was to take maximal grip as a central case of learning. To him, learning as being-in-the-world, basically has to be sketched out in embodied and socially contextualized situations. Drawing upon this asymmetrical identity from Merleau-Ponty, our argument in this paper is that learning is best understood as a phenomenon that involves the learner’s engagement with the world and her intention to make sense of its structures. A new perspective is thus employed to present learning as an embodied and socially embedded phenomenon, which is always projected by habitual experience and involves transcendence. These characteristics of learning are brought together in an integral and comprehensive way and have relevance to studies of learning in institutions and in daily experience.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, East China Normal University jeanshejing@163.com ; 2: Centre for Adapted Physical Activity Participation Studies, University of Southern Denmark ejjespersen@health.sdu.dk

10.3868/s030-006-017-0022-9
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/content/journals/10.3868/s030-006-017-0022-9
2017-08-10
2017-11-25

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