The Phenomenon of The Gaze

  • Eldon C. Wait
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 101)


In this paper I aim to offer an ‘existential analysis’ of simultanagnosia similar to those analyses of visual agnosias offered by Merleau-Ponty in the Phenomenology of Perception. Simultanagnosia is an intruiging form of visual agnosia which restricts the vision of the patient to one object at a time, producing a kind of ‘tunnel’ or ‘tubular’ vision’. The agnosia is accompanied by an optic ataxia, which disrupts the saccadic movements or the small scanning movements of the eye. Through a critique of the traditional explanations which have been offered I will try to show that the agnosia calls for an ‘existential analysis’, one which locates the seat of the syndrome in the patient’s ‘being-in-the-world’, and in this case, in the ‘gaze’. This analysis should corroborate some of Merleau-Ponty’s more enigmatic descriptions of the gaze, particularly those we find in the Visible and the Invisible.


Visual Cortex Personality Disorder Retinal Image Ocular Motor Surrounding World 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

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  • Eldon C. Wait

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