Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Helen Fielding


This thesis examines the philosophical underpinnings of the possibility to perceive in different ways, with a particular attention to Merleau-Ponty's account of perception as inseparable from the wider arc of a person's embodied existence. Chapter 1 reflects on the relationship between Merleau-Ponty's description of the co-existence of the senses, and concrete ways that individual perceivers co-exist. Chapter 2 brings Merleau-Ponty's account of perception as a field of lived relationships, into conversation with the contingency of perceptual limits. Chapter 3 examines the significance of Merleau-Ponty's attention to experiences of synaesthesia and proposes concrete ways that a perceiver might move to shift perceptual structures, as opposed to remain complacent in their recreation.