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Chiasmi International

Volume 22, 2020

Mirrors and Other Technologies

Tommaso Tuppini
Pages 385-397

La sensazione e il vortice del sonno

We typically conceive of sensation as a residue of empiricism and idealism, both of which claim to reduce our experience to a sum of elementary data that the subject encounters. For Merleau-Ponty, sensation is none of these things: it defines our ability to let ourselves be solicited by the relief and questions of the world. What is sensed is not an inert datum but a gesture of existence that concerns me, invites me to correspond to it and follow it. When I respond to the invitations of what I sense, the connection between me and the world functions as the immobile axis around which the whirls of a whirlwind are formed. Whirlwind of sensation or whirlwind of sleep, because sensing is also made of a night time-space in which the connection with things seem to be broken. The inertia of sleep is whirling in its own way, just as the dynamism of sensation has its own condition of possibility in an immeasurable measure of apathy and indifference.

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