Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Embodiment

In so far as I have hands, feet, a body, I sustain around me intentions which are not dependent upon my decisions and which affect my surroundings in a way which I do not choose. These intentions are general... they originate from other than myself, and I am not surprised to find them in all psycho-physical subjects organized as I am.

Phenomenology of Perception 440



. . .there is the body as a mass of chemical components in interaction, the body as dialectic of living being and its biological milieu, and the body as dialectic of social subject and his group; even all our habits are an impalpable body for the ego of each moment. Each of these degrees is soul with one respect to the preceding one, body with respect to the following one. The body in general is an ensemble of paths already traced, of powers already constituted; the body is the acquired dialectical ground upon which a higher ‘formation' is accomplished, and the soul is the meaning which is then established."

Structure of Behaviour 210


"The lived body is in the world as the heart is in the organism: it keeps the visible spectacle constantly alive, it breathes life into it and sustains it inwardly, and with it forms a system." (Phenomenology of Perception, 203)