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(1975) Philosophy and phenomenology of the body, Dordrecht, Springer.

Movement and sensing

Michel Henry

pp. 77-107

The ontological theory of movement is one with the ontological theory of the body. The body is not only movement, it is also sensing, but the analysis [décomposition] of thought insofar as it is here the analysis of the faculty of sensing, shows precisely that the essence of sensing is constituted by movement. First of all, the act of sensing is not known by sensation, rather it is the former which knows the latter. Biran asserts both the transcendental reality of sensing and the transcendent being of sensation. The body, insofar as it is the subjective body, is one with the act of sensing; it is in no way a composite of sensations regardless of the unity, for example in the correlative variations, which one might discover among such sensations. Actually, such a unity is a constituted unity, it is the unity of a transcendent mass, and consequently, it is in no way the unity of the original being of our body. In a text relative to the relationship between visual impression and the ego, Maine de Biran says: "That any visual impression whatever, whether confused or distinct, uniform or varied, be it in it, i.e. in the organ, or outside it in space, it is always true that once he [the subject] perceives it, then it is not he; his ego is not identified with it."1 Torn from the sphere of immanence, banished to [108] the element of transcendent being, sensation is not therefore the object of a theoretical representation.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-1681-0_4

Full citation:

Henry, M. (1975). Movement and sensing, in Philosophy and phenomenology of the body, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 77-107.

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