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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 2, Spring 2011

Rebecca Steiner Goldner
Pages 435-446

Touch and Flesh in Aristotle’s de Anima

In this paper, I argue for the sense of touch as primary in Aristotle’s account of sensation. Touch, as the identifying and inaugurating distinction of sensate beings, is both of utmost importance to Aristotle as well as highly aporetic on his explanation. The issue of touch and the problematic of flesh, in particular, bring us to Merleau-Ponty’s account of flesh as the chiasmic fold and overlap of subject and object, of self and other, and to an incipient and veiled knowledge present in the body’s orientation to and within the world.

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