In shifting attention to the philosophical significance of embodied experience, Maurice Merleau-Ponty sought to overcome both the Cartesian dualism of mind and body, and the scientific, psychological reduction of perception to reified theoretical entities such as ‘sensations’. For Merleau-Ponty, to perceive is already to confer the significance of the world within which one is bodily immersed. Perception arises from bodily action in relation to worldly circumstances.

Merleau-Ponty’s thinking continues to influence contemporary cognitive science.