The direction of inquiry for the following chapters can now be seen. “Sensing” has again become a question for us. Empiricism had emptied sensing of all mystery by reducing it to the possession of a quality, which it could only do by moving away from its normal meaning. Common experience establishes a difference between sensing and knowing that is not the difference between the quality and the concept. This rich notion of sensing is also found in Romantic usage and, for example, in Herder. It points to an experience in which we are not given “dead” qualities, but rather active properties. A wooden wheel lying on the ground is not, for vision, the same as a wheel bearing a weight. A body at rest because no force is being exerted upon it is not, for vision, the same as a body in which opposing forces are being held in equilibrium.1 The light of a candle changes appearance for the child when, after having burned him, it ceases to attract the child's hand and becomes literally repulsive.2 Vision is already inhabited by a sense that gives it a function in the spectacle of the world and in our existence. The pure quale would only be given to us if the world were a spectacle and one's own body a mechanism with which an impartial mind could become acquainted.3 Sensing, however, invests the quality with a living value, grasps it first in its signification for us, for this weighty mass that is our body, and as a result sensing always includes a reference to the body. The problem is to understand these strange 53relations woven between the parts of the landscape, or from the landscape to me as an embodied subject, relations by which a perceived object can condense within itself an entire scene or become the imago of an entire segment of life. Sensing is this living communication with the world that makes it present to us as the familiar place of our life. The perceived object and the perceiving subject owe their thickness to sensing. It is the intentional fabric that the work of knowledge will seek to decompose.