birth of intelligence in each perception

But when I contemplate an object with no other worry than to see it exist and to display before me its riches, it ceases to be an allusion to a general type and I realize that each perception – and not merely perceptions of scenes that I discover for the first time – begins anew for itself the birth of intelligence and has something of an inspired invention to it. If I am to recognize this tree as a tree, then beneath this acquired signification, the momentary arrangement of the sensible spectacle must begin afresh – as if at the origin of the vegetal world – to sketch out the individual idea of this tree. Such would be this natural judgment that cannot yet know its reasons, since it creates them.

Phenomenology of Perception, “Attention” and “Judgment” – Maurice Merleau-Ponty

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