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Where human beings are concerned, rather than merely nature, the unfinished quality to knowledge, which is born of the complexity of its objects, is redoubled by a principle of incompletion. For example, one philosopher demonstrated 10 years ago that absolutely objective historical knowledge is inconceivable, because the act of interpreting the past and placing it in perspective is conditioned by the moral and political choices which the historian has made in his own life - and vice versa. Trapped in the circle, human existence can never abstract from itself in order to gain access to the naked truth; it merely has the capacity to progress towards the objective and does not possess objectivity in fully-fledged form. (79-80)


Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The World of Perception.  Trans. Oliver Davis.  Routledge 2008. 

See Also

Lexicon Entries

Foucault's Objective; A Fundamental Quality of an Act; A Limited But Infinite Path

Works and Days






Tags: Maurice Merleau-Ponty

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