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Psychology in the Field of Being:Merleau-Ponty, Ontology and Social Constructionism

Psychology in the Field of Being:Merleau-Ponty, Ontology and Social Constructionism


In this paper I take up the various ontological positions forwarded in social constructionism. While acknowledging its advances over other approaches to psychology, I nevertheless argue that the various ontological positions create confusion over the nature of human perception and the sensible realization of a world that does not rest wholly in language. Using the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty, I argue for a more fundamental ontology that grasps the relation of the whole human being to the world. Essential to this are the metaphors of `field of Being', `dimensionality' and `transformation'. The field of Being is realized in bodily perception of the sensible world, which is then articulated and transformed in linguistic expression. This has to be understood as a naturally embodied topography as well as a culturally and historically articulated and transformed space. I therefore present these metaphors as an extension of constructionism, seeing psychological phenomena as existing more broadly in a field of Being.
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