Volume 6, Issue 11 (9-2016)                   ph 2016, 6(11): 1-8 | Back to browse issues page

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By rupturing and breaking away from Cartesianistic theories which have been indicating to disembodied approach, in recent years a kind of turning point from focusing on mind to attention to the body has been emerged, and embodiment has found very considerable presence in contemporary theories of education. Maurice Merleau-ponty, French phenomenologist philosopher, is known as one of the main experts of contemporary theoretical debates with regards to the embodiment. Merleau-Ponty’s central philosophical thought emphasizes on the point that the perception is a bodily phenomenon, not a mental event. He indicates that avoidance from acknowledging the senses’ intermixture and corporeal reality of perception in western tradition has marginalized the body’s position in western culture and has reduced the body to a level far lower than the mind. By placing perception as a fundamentally bodily act, Merleau-Ponty emphasizes on the corporeality as an essential precondition for experiencing and gaining knowledge. Employing Merleau-Ponty’s theories on bodily perception, intersubjectivity, empathy, encounter and coexistence also could be useful on the art pedagogy’s debate. By referring to Merleau-Ponty’s arguments, it is possible to consider art education as a corporeal and spatial subject, which finds its meaning in relation to other’s corporeality and spatiality. By reconsidering the body’s important position in art education process, the emotions and emphatic feeling play appropriate role in confrontation between learner and artwork, and student can perceive the work according to his own lived experience. Through the process of dialogue, he/she could experience a kind of openness toward other’s lived worlds, as Merleau-ponty argues their perspectives intertwines into each other.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: ساير