transition synthesis

The act of attention is linked to previous acts precisely by overthrowing the givens, and the unity of consciousness is gradually constructed in this way through a “transition synthesis.” The miracle of consciousness is to make phenomena appear through attention that reestablish the object’s unity in a new dimension at the very moment they destroy that unity. Attention, then, is neither an association of ideas nor the return to itself of a thought that is already the master of its objets; rather, attention is the active constitution of a new object that develops and thematizes what was until then only offered as an indeterminate horizon.

The object only gives rise to the “knowing event” that will transform it through the still ambiguous sense that it offers to attention as needing-to-be-determined, such that the object is the “motive” of and not the cause of this event.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *