viscosity of the perceived, positive indeterminacy

I can become familiar with a person’s face without ever having perceived, for itself, the color of the eyes. The theory of sensation, which composes all knowledge out of determinate qualities, constructs objects for us that are cleansed of all equivocation, that are pure, absolute, and that are the ideal of knowledge rather than its actual themes.

What prevents spatial, temporal, and numerical wholes from being articulated in manipulable, distinct, and identifiable terms is sometimes the adherence of the perceived to its context and as if to its viscosity, and sometimes the presence in the perceived of a positive indeterminacy. We must explore this pre-objective domain within ourselves if we wish to understand sensing.

Phenomenology of Perception, “Sensation” – Maurice Merleau-Ponty

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