A phenomenological account of spatial perception in relation to the lived body.
The Sense of Space brings together space and body to show that space is a plastic environment, charged with meaning, that reflects the distinctive character of human embodiment in the full range of its moving, perceptual, emotional, expressive, developmental, and social capacities. Drawing on the philosophies of Merleau-Ponty and Bergson, as well as contemporary psychology to develop a renewed account of the moving, perceiving body, the book suggests that our sense of space ultimately reflects our ethical relations to other people and to the places we inhabit.
“Readers interested in embodiment should find the book interesting.” — University of Toronto Quarterly
"I like the combination of sober scholarship with imaginative thought and writing. David Morris is fully at home in phenomenology, while being quite knowledgeable of existing and pertinent scientific literature. Having mastered both, he creates a dynamic tension between them, showing how each can fructify the other, albeit in very different ways. The result is truly impressive.
"This is a very rare book in many ways. First, it directly engages scientific literature that treats the experience of space; not since Merleau-Ponty himself has there been a comparable engagement. Second, it institutes a lively debate with this literature that shows how a different model from that of science—including ecological science as practiced by J. J. Gibson and dynamics systems theory—is required in order to avoid positing a ready-made world taken for granted, or else an infinite regress of models. Third, Morris draws in everyday experiences of space and place in order to elucidate the deep problem of depth—a problem that heretofore has not been elucidated so intelligently and imaginatively resolved. Fourth, he adopts a developmental perspective on perception and motion that makes his work virtually unique and that brings additional light to bear on the question of depth. Fifth, Morris explores the implications of his model of depth for the experience of place in human experience—a bold undertaking that succeeds remarkably well. In sum, this is a groundbreaking work." — Edward S. Casey, author of Imagining: A Phenomenological Study, Second Edition
David Morris is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Trent University.
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