Special contribution to the debate
It should be noted that this expression — a return to experience — and many others like it, e.g., pre-reflexive, pre-objective, pre-personal, pre-philosophical, etc., have all been the source of many muddles. It is indeed not surprising that confusion did occur, for these expressions seem to invite confusion and muddles. Both phenomenologists and their critics have most recently been misled by such expressions. I believe a main source of confusion rests with the term ‘return’: it seems to suppose some kind of turning around and going back to something which has been missed the first time, or a kind of return to an earlier period of our waking life. Thus some critics seem to interpret Merleau-Ponty’s expression of ‘a return to the pre-objective world’ as if he were asking that we return to some other and different world than the one we experience daily. Evidently, if this is how the expression is understood (and it must be admitted that this sort of expression is a bit strained) then there will arise the important but extremely complicated problem of how to talk or say anything about this ‘original’ world (the term ‘original’ is used to translate the French ‘originaire’). This problem is clearly brought out in an article by M. Kullman and C. Taylor, back in 1966.
Morin, S. (1976)., Special contribution to the debate, in A. Tymieniecka (ed.), The crisis of culture, Dordrecht, Reidel, pp. 87-97.
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