W for World
McKeever , Newsletter / 24 Giugno 2022

Two of the most important words in the Phenomenology of Perception of Merleau-Ponty are “world” (monde) and “meaning” (sens).  This post will not focus on the long analyses that this author offers on each term but rather on the way he understands the relationship between these two terms. In his thought world and meaning are co-relative, almost synonymous: there is no world without meaning and no meaning without the world.             In common usage the term “world” is employed to talk about quite a range of different realities: the planet Earth, the ensemble of all that is, a sector of culture (the world of cinema) and so on. In general, the term has a spatial connotation, that is to say the world is a space in which something is located or in which something happens.  Merleau-Ponty speaks of the naïve conception of the world as being like a big box in which are to be found objects, people, villages, clouds… Understood in this way the world is thought of as something objective, concrete and real. It is a ready-made world, a fait accompli.             From the beginning, phenomenology strongly contested this way of thinking about the world. The main problem…