Volume 9, Issue 1, Fall 2004
Across the Tradition of Philosophy
On the Body in Max Scheler’s Phenomenology
This essay proposes a reading of Scheler’s work that puts into question the separation of principles he claims for life and spirit, or body and thought. After considering how Scheler opens possibilities to think the body non-objectively when he conceives it as an analyzer that determines if and how one perceives something, the essay moves to a discussion of his late work Man’s Place in Nature. Here Scheler thinks the mutual penetration of life and spirit while still maintaining their distinction by claiming that they have separate principles. By focusing on the performativity of Scheler’s thought, the essay aims at uncovering a dimension of his thought that undermines this distinction and allows for new possibilities of understanding the lived body.