You are hereHome › University Libraries › Library Faculty and Staff Publications › Low, Douglas › The continuing relevance of The Structure of Behavior Style APAChicagoHarvardIEEEMLATurabian Choose the citation style. Low, D. (2004). The continuing relevance of The Structure of Behavior. International Philosophical Quarterly, 44(3). The continuing relevance of The Structure of Behavior Details Title The continuing relevance of The Structure of Behavior Contributor(s) Low, Douglas (author) Located In International Philosophical Quarterly ISSN 0019-0365 Date 2004 Abstract With the advent of new technology and imaging techniques that measure brain activity, and with the development of the computer as a model for human thinking, it is not surprising to find many authors currently addressing issues regarding brain function and the mind/body problem. What is perhaps surprising, and what is certainly remarkable, given the absence of these techniques and the modern computer at the time, is that Merleau-Ponty addresses these same issues with a rigor and insight that equals, and in some cases perhaps even exceeds, most current philosophical studies. It is the contention of the present essay that Merleau-Ponty’s frequently ignored early work, The Structure of Behavior, contains a wealth of analysis that is still relevant to current biological and neurophysiological studies, and to the philosophical consequences that are frequently drawn from them. Moreover, Merleau-Ponty not only critically addresses theories that attempt to understand human behavior as the linear calculation of discrete physiological events, he also critically addresses theories that would explain human behavior simply by appealing to abstract conceptual analysis. We will see that he develops a theory of emergent materialism that focuses on the human body as a concrete organic whole that can be neither reduced to linear physical events nor to abstract conceptual relations. The understanding of the human being requires a theory that recognizes the human body as an original whole, that is, that recognizes a body that intimately integrates mind and matter. It is this theory that Merleau-Ponty first articulates in The Structure of Behavior. It is the main themes of this theory that I will attempt to reveal here.