Merleau-Ponty's Sensible Ideas
Andrew Inkpin (University of Melbourne)

March 31, 2020, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
PHI research group, Deakin University

Virtual online
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood
Melbourne 3125


Deakin University

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This talk focuses on the notion of ‘sensible ideas’ that Merleau-Ponty briefly discusses towards the end of The Visible and the Invisible. Its main aim is to show how this notion proves to be of philosophical value in characterizing some forms of embodied-embedded practice. I begin by setting out how Merleau-Ponty conceives sensible ideas, highlighting both continuities with his earlier works and some specific features of this late notion. By considering three different kinds of practice – mathematics, music, painting – I then assess Merleau-Ponty’s general claim that sensible ideas form the foundation of ‘ideas of the intelligence’. I argue that this claim is an overgeneralization and try to show how the role of sensible ideas should instead be understood and which practices it legitimately applies to.

Bio: Andrew Inkpin is a lecturer  in contemporary European philosophy at the University of Melbourne. His research centres on phenomenological approaches to meaning, particularly with regard to language, practice, pictures and the visual arts more generally (including connections between phenomenology and recent embodied-embedded cognitive science). He has written, Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language MIT Press.

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