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Disclosing Horizons by Nicholas Temple

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Chapter 4

Topography, Rhetoric and the Vanishing Point

Horizontal and Vertical Worlds

In his final work, The Visible and the Invisible, Maurice Merleau-Ponty remarked:

I say that the Renaissance perspective is a cultural fact, that perception itself is polymorphic and that if it becomes Euclidean, this is because it allows itself to be oriented by the system. Whence the question: how can one return from this perception fashioned by culture to the “brute” or “wild” perception? What does the informing consist in? By what act does one undo it (return to the phenomenal, to the “vertical” world, to lived experience)?1

Merleau-Ponty sees the culturally driven system of perspectivally ordered perception as antithetical to the “vertical” world of lived ...

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