Body and Reality
An Examination of the Relationships between the Body Proper, Physical Reality, and the Phenomenal World Starting from Plessner and Merleau-Ponty
Is materialism right to claim that the world of everyday-life experience – the phenomenal world – is nothing but an illusion produced in physical reality, notably in the brain? Or is Merleau-Ponty right when he defends the fundamental character of the phenomenal world while rejecting physical realism? Jasper van Buuren addresses these questions by exploring the nature of the body proper in Merleau-Ponty and Plessner, arguing that physical and phenomenal realism are not mutually exclusive but complementary. The argument includes a close examination of the relationships between scientific and pre-scientific perspectives, between living and non-living things, and between humans and animals.