When it comes to the body, to life, to the issue of being a living body in this world, it is of primary importance to give up what Merleau-Ponty calls “intellectualist psychology” as well as “idealist philosophy”, and to stress the empirical biological dimension of our existential situation. Merleau-Ponty insists on the necessity to take into account the most recent biological and neurobiological discoveries. This double approach constitutes the singularity and uniqueness of the Phenomenology of Perception. My first issue here is to interrogate what currently remains from this approach by confronting it to the neurobiological one. I will situate the confrontation in the specific context of two neural pathologies that cause profound modifications of the body schema. First, phantom pains and phantom limbs, second anosognosia. Merleau-Ponty sees these pathologies as new versions of the Freudian concept of disavowal or psychic refusal. Neurobiologists deprive them of any unconscious dimension. Are we then facing a conflict between meaning and absence of meaning, or does current neurobiology confer a new and unexpected future to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology?

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