Empiricism’s his thesis Phenomenology of Perception (1945).

Empiricism’s primary focus is based on the observation of experience with a limited regard to how experience is lived through the physical body. This idea was significant within the philosophical movement phenomenology “the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness” (21), founded in the early 1900’s by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938). Following the study of Husserl, the French phenomenological philosopher Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) highlighted the importance of the body in his thesis Phenomenology of Perception (1945). Merleau-Ponty’s conception of the body allowed him to subvert what had been a lasting conception of consciousness which hinged on the distinction between the for-itself (subject) and in-itself (object), positioning the body in-between this contrast; ambiguously existing as both. In the Chapter The Body in its Sexual Being Merleau-Ponty states that the body “can symbolize existence because it brings it into being and actualizes it” (9), in this he recognizes the significance of the world existentially, viewing the world, consciousness, and the body as a perceiving thing that are complexly connected and reciprocally engaged. He saw the body as a tangible, internal intentionality which communicates with the sensible aspects it confronts. Suggesting that things are that upon which our body has a grasp, whilst the grasp itself is an exercise of our natural belonging with the worlds things, “The world and the sense of self are emergent phenomena in an ongoing “becoming”” (14). At the center of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy is a continuous debate for the fundamental role that perception takes part in interpreting the world as well as occupying oneself within the world. Merleau-Ponty highlighted the body as the sole place of activity of understanding, correcting the lasting philosophical belief of establishing consciousness as the source of knowledge, and sustained that the body and what it perceives cannot be separated from each other.