Holism, content and self

chiasmus

“[T]here must be, then, corresponding to the open unity of the world, an open and indefinite unity of subjectivity. Like the world’s unity, that of the I is invoked rather than experienced each time I perform an act of perception, each time I reach a self-evident truth, and the universal I is the background against which these effulgent forms stand out: it is through one present thought that I achieve the unity of all my thoughts…The primary truth is indeed ‘I think’, but only provided that we understand thereby ‘I belong to myself’ while belonging to the world.”

Text reproduced from Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception, quoted in Place and Experience, A Philosophical Topography, J Malpas, Cambridge University Press, 1999:pp.72. Image reproduced from http://merleau.jp/whatsE.html