I have been going back through every note and flagged book I have and trying every search term combination to try to find the source of a quote or passage that noted the concept that 'vision is to touch with the gaze.' It may not be an exact quote but it was something almost verbatim that I think was either in Sartre or Merleau-Ponty... There are a lot of writings that touch on similar ideas but do not directly address the idea of vision as an extension of a kind of psuedo-tactile experience. Any source would be greatly appreciated.

1 Answer 1


In Phenomenology of Perception, Merleau-Ponty says that vision is not (merely) a passive process of receiving information from the world, but an active engagement with it.

[The gaze] is a way of touching the world and it can caress or bruise, wound or heal.

  • yeah i was gonna mention that
    – user67302
    Aug 20, 2023 at 15:58

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