•  17
    In his late lecture course titled “Nature and Logos: The Human Body” (1959-1960), Merleau-Ponty proposed that we understand human symbolism, language, and reason by viewing the human being initially as a variant on animal embodiment and perception prior to being a rational animal. To elaborate this project, he outlined an “esthesiology” informed by the study of evolution. However, in the sketches that survive of “Nature and Logos,” we find neither a detailed explanation of how Merleau-Ponty unde…Read more
  •  136
    In Search of Lost Speech: From Language to Nature in Merleau-Ponty’s Collège de France Courses
    Humana.Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (41): 149-176. 2022.
    This paper tracks the development of Merleau-Ponty's inquiries into language through the themes of institution, symbolism, and nature in his Collège de France lectures of 1953-1960. It seeks to show the continuity of Merleau-Ponty's inquiries over this period. The Problem of Speech course (1953-1954) constitutes his last extended treatment of speech, language, and expression, and it leaves many questions unanswered. Nonetheless, a careful study of the course reveals that the inquiries that follo…Read more
  •  16
    Feelings of Believing: Psychology, History, Phenomenology by Ryan Hickerson (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 59 (2): 340-341. 2021.
    There has been a slowly developing appreciation from various quarters in recent decades that the overlap between the philosophy of the emotions and epistemology might be greater than one would initially assume. Ryan Hickerson's Feelings of Believing: Psychology, History, and Phenomenology makes a timely and highly original contribution to this discussion. But its scope and appeal reach far beyond that somewhat niche issue, extending to psychology, history of philosophy, phenomenology, and beyond…Read more
  •  19
    This essay combines insights into the nature of language from yogic mantra meditation and phenomenology. I argue that phenomenologists can gain insights into the formative experiences that shape linguistic meaning from mantra meditators. Meanwhile, phenomenology can offer an original perspective on debates in mantra research concerning the linguisticality of mantras.
  •  24
    The Surplus of Signification: Merleau-Ponty and Enactivism on the Continuity of Life, Mind, and Culture
    Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 28 (1): 27-52. 2020.
    This paper provides a critical discussion of the views of Merleau-Ponty and contemporary enactivism concerning the phenomenological dimension of the continuity between life and mind. I argue that Merleau-Ponty’s views are at odds with those of enactivists. Merleau-Ponty only applied phenomenological descriptions to the life-worlds of sentient animals with sensorimotor systems, contrary to those enactivists who apply them to all organisms. I argue that we should follow Merleau-Ponty on this point…Read more
  •  511
    Horizons of the word: Words and tools in perception and action
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (5): 905-932. 2020.
    In this paper I develop a novel account of the phenomenality of language by focusing on characteristics of perceived speech. I explore the extent to which the spoken word can be said to have a horizonal structure similar to that of spatiotemporal objects: our perception of each is informed by habitual associations and expectations formed through past experiences of the object or word and other associated objects and experiences. Specifically, the horizonal structure of speech in use can fruitful…Read more
  •  339
    I have two objectives in this article. The first is methodological: I elaborate a minimal phenomenological method and attempt to show its importance in studies of infant behavior. The second objective is substantive: Applying the minimal phenomenological approach, combined with Meltzoff’s “like-me” developmental framework, I propose the hypothesis that infants learn the pointing gesture at least in part through imitation. I explain how developments in sensorimotor ability (posture, arm and hand …Read more
  •  569
    Approaches to the naturalization of phenomenology usually understand naturalization as a matter of rendering continuous the methods, epistemologies, and ontologies of phenomenological and natural scientific inquiry. Presupposed in this statement of the problematic, however, is that there is an original discontinuity, a rupture between phenomenology and the natural sciences that must be remedied. I propose that this way of thinking about the issue is rooted in a simplistic understanding of the ph…Read more
  •  14
    Book Reviews for Issue 45:1
    with Leda Channer and Diego D'Angelo
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 45 (1): 84-89. 2014.
    Review of Lee Braver's 2012 book, Groundless Grounds: A Study of Wittgenstein and Heidegger
  •  644
    Radical and autopoietic enactivists disagree concerning how to understand the concept of sense-making in enactivist discourse and the extent of its distribution within the organic domain. I situate this debate within a broader conflict of commitments to naturalism on the part of radical enactivists, and to phenomenology on the part of autopoietic enactivists. I argue that autopoietic enactivists are in part responsible for the obscurity of the notion of sense-making by attributing it univocally …Read more
  •  1085
    This paper clarifies Merleau-Ponty’s distinction between speaking and spoken speech, and the relation between the two, in his Phenomenology of Perception. Against a common interpretation, I argue on exegetical and philosophical grounds that the distinction should not be understood as one between two kinds of speech, but rather between two internally related dimensions present in all speech. This suggests an interdependence between speaking and spoken aspects of speech, and some commentators have…Read more
  •  44
    Aristotle’s De Interpretatione has been referred to as the most influential text to be written in the history of semantics. I argue, however, that it is Plato who lays the foundation for subsequent reflection on signification. In the Cratylus, Plato confronts the two prevalent views of his time on the nature of the relationship between a name and a thing named: conventionalism, which holds that there is an arbitrary, imposed relationship between names and what they name; and naturalism, which ho…Read more