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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 12, 2012

Possibilities of Embodiment

Chris Nagel
Pages 17-33
DOI: 10.7761/SP.12.17

Phenomenology without “the body”?

French phenomenology focused on “the body” to avoid the supposed transcendental idealism of Husserl’s phenomenology, and to provide an “existential” or “empirical” account of the origin of meaning, as Ricoeur put it. In practice, however, this has implicitly presupposed a Cartesian problematic of the relation between body and mind or “subject.” This is the source of the ultimate frustration of this effort, as well as the persistence of a “mystery” of meaning (to cite Merleau-Ponty and Henry). This essay offers an alternative, considering the embodiment of any meaningful experience, suggesting finally that embodiment must be accounted for in terms of subjection.

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