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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2017, Vol. 12 Issue (2) : 306-321     DOI: 10.3868/s030-006-017-0022-9
Orginal Article |
Habitual Learning as Being-in-the-World: On Merleau-Ponty and the Experience of Learning
HE Jing1(), Ejgil Jespersen2()
1. Department of Philosophy, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
2. Centre for Adapted Physical Activity Participation Studies, University of Southern Denmark, Odense 5230, Denmark
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In Phenomenology of Perception, both intellectualism and empiricism were blamed for not grasping consciousness in the act of learning. This was, Merleau-Ponty thought, due to an objective volatilizing of the subjective role of the lived body in perception. In order to overcome the difficulties in the tradition of learning and the philosophy of consciousness, Merleau-Ponty’s next important step was to take maximal grip as a central case of learning. To him, learning as being-in-the-world, basically has to be sketched out in embodied and socially contextualized situations. Drawing upon this asymmetrical identity from Merleau-Ponty, our argument in this paper is that learning is best understood as a phenomenon that involves the learner’s engagement with the world and her intention to make sense of its structures. A new perspective is thus employed to present learning as an embodied and socially embedded phenomenon, which is always projected by habitual experience and involves transcendence. These characteristics of learning are brought together in an integral and comprehensive way and have relevance to studies of learning in institutions and in daily experience.

Keywords learning      Merleau-Ponty      experience      maximal grip      habitual      being-in-the-world     
Issue Date: 24 July 2017
 Cite this article:   
HE Jing,Ejgil Jespersen. Habitual Learning as Being-in-the-World: On Merleau-Ponty and the Experience of Learning[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(2): 306-321.
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