Volume 22, 2022
Merleau‑Ponty’s Gestural Theory
Tracing Perceptual, Reflex, Habitual and Verbal Movements
This paper analyses Merleau‑Ponty’s gestural theory focusing on the ontological and epistemological role attributed to the expressive movements of the lived body. The first section argues that Merleau‑Ponty’s phenomenology recognises movement as a primordial phenomenon from which language and thought emerge. This theorisation allows us to identify a type of logos that grants a specific content, sense and value to bodily movements, here conceptualised as a “kin(aesth)etic logos”. The second section of the paper offers a categorisation of different gestures—perceptive, reflexive, habitual and verbal gestures—which show how the kin(aesth)etic logos is actualised in a myriad of daily activities.