Methodological fundamentals of visual theory in the philosophical projects of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gilles Deleuze

Keywords: the body, the sight, experience of the visual, the affectation, the haptic


This article aims to outline the methodological fundamentals of a presentational approach within a visual theory. Its supporters consider vision not as an act of objectivation but as a special form of contact between an object and a beholder. The article reconstructs philo- sophical foundations of this approach, basing on the vision theories developed by Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gilles Deleuze. Therefore, the article outlines three primary principles of understanding vision: (1) visual experience cannot be reduced to the language or de- scribed through the language-derived structures; (2) the vision is an integrally corporeal experience that cannot be considered separately from the body itself; (3) the object takes an active part in the act of vision. Based on the works Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze, the ar- ticle offers terminological refinements that help avoid some methodological controversies of the visual theory. In particular, this refers to the reformulation of «visual experience» into «experience of the visual» — in this way we prevent the limitation of the vision to only its optical component.

Author Biography

Anastasiia Avetysian

postgraduate student at the Theoretical and Practical Philosophy department, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.


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How to Cite
Avetysian, A. (2020). Methodological fundamentals of visual theory in the philosophical projects of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gilles Deleuze. Filosofska Dumka, (5), 81-92. Retrieved from