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and theory. It then moves to a more detailed look at the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Michael Polanyi1 on the body as the nucleus or fulcrum of human experience. Though neither author wrote directly about architecture or urban form, their work has significant implications for understanding the way people relate to their environment.2 Of the two, Merleau-Ponty is the better-known author and a philosopher in the same school of thought as Martin Heidegger, both of whom in turn acknowledge Edmund Husserl3 as the intellectual father of phenomenology. Together

in The extended self
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chapter follows the new thinking and discoveries of leading researchers in the field, some of whom have been motivated by the belief that a full understanding of the self and consciousness will come about only from a broadening of the cognitive and neurosciences to encompass the phenomenology of human experience. From an exploration of current concepts of the self and embodied minds, the discussion then moves on to some of the more specific and important discoveries in the latter field, many of which lend empirical support to Merleau-Ponty and Polanyi’s speculations

in The extended self
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meaning of place-identity as interpreted from different viewpoints, including those of ordinary home-dwellers, academics, literary figures and architectural critics and theorists. The marked differences in the meanings attached to spaces and places by both inhabitants and observers lead in turn to a discussion of cultural relativism, as argued by prominent linguists and anthropologists. The early influence of Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology on the idea of place in architectural theory is also discussed, paving the way for an overview of related approaches by later

in The extended self
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themselves, but also among architectural theorists.6 However, regardless of the valuable insights phenomenology provides into human experience and the existential role of the human body, it remains intentionally focused on describing the world as directly experienced in the here and now – phenomenology in itself has little to offer that might explain how we got to be the way we are, or what there might have been in our past to influence present perceptions. Likewise, while evolutionary theory promises to fill those gaps, it too is hobbled in its own manner by neo

in The extended self
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concluding chapter, Gill also briefly covers the ‘linguistic phenomenology’ of J. L. Austin,38 finding further common threads in Austin’s thought defining a mutual position with the former group ‘between the over-confidence of modernism and the skepticism of deconstructive postmodernism.’39 Taking a similar line to Wittgenstein’s interactive theory of language use, Gill writes, Austin dismisses what he calls the ‘descriptive fallacy,’ by which language is presumed to offer only a passive and presumably objective description of the world, in favor of ‘performative

in The extended self
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Belonging

untangle some of its complex operations (the links – and blockages or ‘hesitations’ – between apprehension and action, between feeling and believing, appearing, saying and doing) that makes a creative aesthetics so valuable to the study of social life.’21 Drawing on literary theorist and poetry scholar Isobel Armstrong’s scholarship, which draws parallels among theories of affect in discourses of phenomenology, psychoanalysis and other fields, Bennett also argues that, ‘Art, like affect itself, inhabits an in-between space and is an agent of change.’22 By exploring

in Productive failure
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To fasten words again to visible – and invisible – things

existence is relative to and interdependent with the viewing subject, the scholars in this volume, like the individuals whose work they discuss, move beyond semiotic trends in word and image studies to consider the materiality, and through this the sensuous and affective dimensions, of American experience. The American philosophical tradition – grounded in a phenomenology that is strongly pragmatic, a theory of cognition that is rooted in embodied experience, and an epistemology that is both bound up in the world of objects and that draws on transcendentalist and Romantic

in Mixed messages

other – usually perceived as unrelated – Jones not only subjects Hegel’s influential theory of the master/slave dialectic in his Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) to close scrutiny; she also traces, genealogically, how the theory of subjectivity in the model of the master/slave dialectic was later developed in twentieth-century neo-Hegelian theory ‘to crystalize the binary at the base of modern European thought’.29 Hegel’s thoughts were mediated through the highly influential Marxist lectures of Alexandre Identification, disidentification and identity reconfiguration

in Migration into art
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Anish Kapoor as British/Asian/artist

York 29 2.5–6  30 Productive failure City, points to another crucial shift in the critical writing about Kapoor’s artworks in the postmillennial period.35 In sharp contrast to the criticism of Kapoor’s early artworks, which seemed tethered to details of Kapoor’s ‘Indian’ identity, Vidler expunges all references to Kapoor’s ethnic, national, religious or other types of ‘identity’. Vidler’s invocation of theories of phenomenology to describe the relationship between the viewer and the artwork is particularly suggestive. Yet, he implies an abstracted viewing

in Productive failure
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Producing art, producing art history

, and play have a more defining role than they do in the opinion-transposing frame of rational-critical dialogue’.102 British sociologist Nick Crossley theorizes an embodied public sphere. Crossley combines Habermasian public sphere theory and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology in order to construct a model of a more embodied public sphere, as well as a more ethical phenomenology.103 Crossley’s scholarship helps to bridge the various theories of the public sphere I have recounted, if only implicitly. His public sphere is not only an affective and embodied one (per

in Productive failure