TEMPORALITY AS A SPATIAL FIELD OF PRESENCE*Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.10, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2021-06-21
Authors : James Mensch;
Page : 163-185
Keywords : spatiality; field of presence; temporality; perception; Merleau-Ponty; Husserl; Heidegger.;
According to Merleau-Ponty in his Phenomenology of Perception, we experience time as a “field of presence.” In his words, “It is in my ‘field of presence' in the widest sense [...] that I make contact with time, and learn to know its course.” This field is fundamental. It elucidates my spatial apprehension. In his words: “Perception provides me with a ‘field of presence' in the broad sense, extending in two di- mensions: the here-there dimension and the past-present-future dimension. The second elucidates the first.” In other words, I understand the spatial “here-there” dimension in terms of the temporal dimen- sion. The “there” is what I immediately grasp in still having in hand “the immediate past.” In this article, I propose to examine the general conception of time as a field of presence. This examination can be seen as a kind of “thought experiment,” where we see what happens when we reverse this relation—i.e., when we elucidate the “past-present-future dimension” in terms of the “here-there dimension.” Such a reversal, I will argue, brings to the fore the pragmatic, spatial character of lived time. Not only does it bring about a revision of horizonal structure of the field of presence, it also has consequences for psycho-analytical research.
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