The body as mediator
What do we miss when we ignore, from a bodily perspective, what's going on around us? The phenomenology of philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty touches on this subject, and his ideas start from a very simple concept: in his view, we don't 'have' bodies, but 'inhabit' them. The way he further developed this notion was by establishing the 'objective body' — "has a particular size, weight, buoyancy" — and the 'lived body' — "through which we touch and feel and move". In this exceptional analysis for Aeon magazine, Dan Nixon explores how Merleau-Ponty's views entwine us, via our own beating, pulsing, living bodies, in the lives of others.