The neither-nor primacy of Merleau-Ponty’s perception according to Merleau-Ponty himself:

“The classical analysis of perception reduces all experience to the single level of what, for good reason, is judged to be true.” …

…”But when, on the contrary, I consider the whole setting of my perception, it reveals another modality which is neither the ideal and necessary being of geometry nor the simple sensory event, the ‘percepi’, …{my bold)

…”and this is precisely what remains to be studied.” (Primacy of Perception: p.14)

In other words: this explicit neithernor is all there really is.

neither the ideal and necessary of geometry nor the simple sensory event.

The obvious conclusion becomes: without a geometrical scaffolding (i.e. cartesian) to hang sensations on there doesn’t seem to be any perceptual “setting” to analyze.

Question: what remains to study after the elimination of the ideal, the necessary, and the simple sensory event.

Something or some point of view is, according to MP,  fundamentally TRUER than the dialectic that describes the relationship between the (A) ideal and necessary and the (B) sensory event.


What does the dialectical “middle road between traditional empiricism and traditional idealism” conceal? And what, therefore, remains?

Is it a “philosophy of ambiguity” seen “through a kind of empiricist-idealist dialectic which continually oscillates between these two poles”….(Primacy of Perception, intro, xv). 

In other words, what operation follows the logical NOR (“n boolean logiclogical nor or joint denial is a truth-functional operator which produces a result that is the negation of logical or. That is, a sentence of the form (p NOR q) is true precisely when neither p nor q is true—i.e. when both of p and q are false”. Wikipedia).

“Additionally ~ (negation) is performed before logical AND and logical OR,” Wikipedia).

Note the key word: BEFORE.

The implicit chronology of the neither-nor logical operation places the totally inclusive “setting of perception” prior to the geometrical scaffolding upon which perception emerges as something to be evaluated.

What does it means that negation as a logical operation comes before “the whole setting of my perception” as exactly what we are to analyze? It seems everything we could analyze is off the table. Literally.

So what, therefore, are we to analyze?

Does this condition simply restate Kant’s noumena as something outside the realm of all phenomena. 

MP would probably say not so since he wrote the Phenomenology of Perception.

It seems that MP is implying that since the infamous noumena is being created by the exercise of rational thought as something necessary beyond itself that it, therefore, remains subject to rational analysis since its transcendence is simply an effect of manner of thinking (which Kant never really makes explicit)



Primacy Of Perception, MP, p. 3

“We never stop living in the world of perception, but we go beyond it in critical thought – almost to the point of forgetting the contribution of perception to our idea of truth.”…

“Critical thought has broken with the naive existence of things, and when it affirms it is because it no longer finds any means of denial.”…

“However necessary this activity of verification may be, specifying criteria and demanding from experience its credentials of validity, if is not aware of our contact with the perceived world which is simply there before us, beneath the world of the verified true and the false.”…

“Nor does critical thought even define the positive steps of thinking or its most valid accomplishments”…



deductive = evidence based on rules of logic toward non-contradiction (factual identity) (rules are inductive)

inductive = rule (pattern) based on evidence as predictive (probabilistic)

the inductive-deductive relationship is deductive and specifies the inductive as prior to deductive

deductive is specific

inductive is general

the specific is the identity of difference as essence

the essence itself can therefore never be something specific since it offers no difference to oppose itself.  


The difference between one and two is nothing

On an electronic keyboard that I occasionally play around with there is a button that controls 2 lights which is used to chose 4 options.

Push the button once, the first light goes on (1st option). Push the button again, first goes off while the second light goes on (second option),  Push the button for the third time and both lights go on (3rd option).

Push it again and back to where we started (both lights off).

Quite binary: 00, 01, 10, 11.  (0,1,2,3).  

2 lights, 4 options.

Note zero is not simply a place holder for a potential 1. Zero as no one is actually one of the options. It is the 4th possibility that is different from the other 3. 

Zero, it this case, is obviously a quantitative place in itself.

In a sense, it’s the first option of doing nothing that repeats after 3. 

And when we continue to 4, it is simply 1 with another 0. Which sort of verifies the quantitative reality that zero allows.

In itself, zero could be said to be endlessly “waiting” for one since there doesn’t appear to be any identifiable necessity, no  incentive or anthropological motivation to take the step to one, to do something. And if and when we do, we discover we have brought 0 along for the ride.

Zero, it seems, is the endless possibility of more. One more.

And it becomes obvious that the actual quantity that zero allows (as the addition of zero as the bridge to 4) doesn’t just happen at the beginning. It’s reciting the mantra of itself, of more, at every step.

It simply is the permission of difference or identity. Logically, it allows for contradiction or non-contradiction.


mp: “the perceived world that is simply there before us”.

The perception as apriori. Given. Original. Unfiltered though language. Not of anything specific or categorically recognizable since there is no re in its active cogition. Pure cognition as given perceptually, We see it unfiltered.