I. EXPERIENCING PLACES
In order to analyse our relationship to spaces, we should start from understanding ourself — our cognitive processes and sensory perception.
Empiricist philosophers, John Locke and David Hume, argued that the senses are our only means of experiencing the world and hence the basis of all knowledge. Rationalists, most notably René Descartes and Immanuel Kant, however, doubted the validity of the information provided by the experience of our senses alone. Sensory perception can be misleading as demonstrated by the existence of various optical and spatial illusions. In order to distinguish the truth from perception, Descartes separated mind (consciousness) and body (physical senses) as separate sources of perception, preferring logic and scientific methods over sensations to explain the world around us.
Despite these rational arguments I would refrain from dismissing sensations as well as making a dualist split between different forms of awareness. Phenomenologist philosophers, most notably Maurice Merleau-Ponty2, reason that our consciousness is born through and therefore related to our perception, meaning that the way we imagine the world and the way we perceive it through our bodily senses is so intertwined that when discussing one we should to consider the other. This corporeity of consciousness means that our bodies are not just a limitation, but more like a window, a vehicle for experience and the frame of reference for our analysis.
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