Abstract and Keywords
Although Merleau-Ponty has no sustained account of love, his treatment of it in his early work, especially Phenomenology of Perception and “The Child’s Relations to Others,” allows us to construct one. Moreover, this account allows us to see perceptual and more generally corporeal aspects of love, as well as the distinction between love and infatuation, that often get less addressed in the literature on love. Because of his focus on perception, Merleau-Ponty allows us to understand the experience of our immediate, ongoing, and unreflective relationship to those we love. Because of his account of how our relationships are sedimented in our bodies, he offers us a way to recognize the importance of our interpersonal histories in our corporeal relationships with others. All of this is grounded in a phenomenological method that illuminates aspects of our experience that can be lost to accounts that are less sensitive to our ongoing experience.
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