Volume 15, Issue 2, Spring 2011
Rebecca Steiner Goldner
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.