Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-iv

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

read more

Introduction

Kevin Attell

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-xv

Emanuele Coccia’s Sensible Life is both a timely and an untimely book. In it readers will fi nd pages touching on issues at the center of a number of contemporary philosophical debates and movements, including, most prominently, biopolitics, new materialism, posthumanism, object- oriented ontology...

read more

1. Sensible Life

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-2

It happens even when our eyes are closed or when all our senses seem to be shut to the outside world. If it is not the sound of our own breathing, then it is a memory or dream, tearing us away from our seeming isolation and submerging us once again in the sea of the sensible...

read more

2. Man and Animal

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-5

According to tradition, sensible life is not exclusively a human trait. On the contrary, sensation has always been considered to be the faculty through which “living things, in addition to possessing life, become animals.”1 Through the senses, we live in manner...

read more

3. Intentional Species

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 6-8

With the onset of modernity, a strange fate weighs on sensible life. Political power and theology were not the only ones to have taken up arms against it— just as they had in late antiquity against icons. Philosophy, too, has made of it a true pariah: It has decreed that the sensible has no existence separate...

Physics of the Sensible

read more

4. The World of the Sensible

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 11-13

Images— what the sensible life is made of—do not have a pure mental or psychic nature. If it were so, we could simply close our eyes to see, feel, and taste the world. We would not need sounds to hear, nor would we need to hurl ourselves to the skin of the objects to feel the surface of the world or have...

read more

5. Intermediaries

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 14-15

Phenomena live on this side, literally, of the soul, but they are beyond things. That is, the place in which things become phenomena is not the soul, but neither is it material existence. Aristotle writes that for there to be something sensible (and therefore for there to be sensation), “it is indispensable...

read more

6. Mirrors

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 16-17

A medium is an intermediary body that is simultaneously exterior to both subjects and objects. It allows objects to transform their way of being and thus to become “phenomena,” while it permits the subjects to find the images and sensate forms they needs to live. Mirrors are the best example of...

read more

7. The Place of the Images

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 18-20

In the mirror, we suddenly become pure image; we fi nd ourselves transformed into the pure, immaterial, and extensionless Being of the sensible. Our form, however, an appearance that was purifi ed from every thing that is not perceptible, now exists outside of us, outside of our body, and outside...

read more

8. The Image in the Mirror

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-24

The sensible is the Being of forms when they are outside, in exile from their proper place. But what form does this “outside” have? In which way should we describe this supplemental space that is the absolute outside with re spect to our souls and bodies? In order to grasp this, we need to investigate the...

read more

9. Micro-ontology

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 25-26

Mirrors remind us that there are images, that there is the sensible being in the universe, and that images are not a property of things; nor are they an accident of a consciousness or belong to the realm of animality. They are, rather, a special being, a sphere of the real that is separate from the other...

read more

10. Transparency

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 27-29

There exists a place in which images are born, a place that must be confused neither with the matter in which things take shape nor with the soul of living beings and their psychic life. The specific world of the images, the place where every thing is just sensible (the original place of experience and...

read more

11. The Multiplication of the Real

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 30-31

The world of images, the sensible world, is one constructed upon the limits of a specific power, the receptive power. The medium separates the forms from their original substrates and natures, and it gathers them within itself in their immateriality. In scholastic terminology, the medium is the place of abstraction...

read more

12. The Primacy of the Sensible

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 32-34

Mirrors and their dynamics guard the secret of the sensible life: An image is never reducible to the act of perception or to the existence of the thing. An image is always something that is out of place. Indeed, it is the very being out of place of the world and of things. The sensible life, the life that...

read more

13. Natural Theater

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 35-36

The world is not essentially phenomenal. Things are not the sensible: They need to become visible, tangible, audible, and they become so only outside of themselves. The world and every thing in it, therefore, are and become appearances— that is, phainomena— only elsewhere with respect to the place...

read more

14. The Unity of the World

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 37-40

We live under the perpetual influence of the sensible: odors, colors, the flavor of the food that nourishes us, the melodies and the most commonplace sounds are the very first causes, the ends, the unceasing occasions of our gestures. Our existence— whether sleeping or awake—is a relentless stream of the sensible...

Anthropology of the Sensible

read more

15. Vita Activa

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 43-46

Sensible life does not flicker out the moment that the perceptive act ends. The sensible lives before us and continues to live in us after perception. It lives almost as the background murmur of every one of our thoughts, as the living fluid of every memory, as the ultimate horizon in which every project...

read more

16. The Sensification of the Spirit

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 47-51

The project of modernity has long since expressed itself in the stubborn pretension to see the human spirit achieved only through the material production of objects and their exchange (material culture), through the complex system of reproduction of the conditions for biological existence...

read more

17. Medial Existence

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 52-54

Let us not think of the medium as a purely cognitive or noetic space. Every image is the Being of knowledge that acts outside of the subject, a sort of objective unconscious. It is a form of unconscious in a dual sense; it does not know anything other than itself, nor does it know itself. It is not consciousness...

read more

18. Intentional Projections

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 55-57

Contemporary philosophy seems obsessed with the need to understand the mind, its structure and its physiology. And in the mind it has sought the origin of every thing that once belonged to the “spiritual”: culture, language, customs, and even aesthetics. This unquestioned obsession is both the sign...

read more

19. Becoming What One Sees

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 58-61

In modernity, it was Lacan who understood most profoundly the founding role of the sensible in the constitution of the human individual. Henri Wallon had noted that a child uses the exteriorized image in the mirror in order to experience its own body as something that is unitary and controllable. For Lacan...

read more

20. Losing Oneself in Images

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 62-63

Th e identifi cation that occurs in the mirror stage, Lacan claims, is possible because the child, even though he “is outdone by the chimpanzee in instrumental intelligence,” can nevertheless already recognize as such his own image in a mirror.1 The human infant is thus less intelligent than a chimpanzee, but in contrast...

read more

21. Dream

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 64-66

The idea that our ego has lived under the influence of a sensible image from the day we were born should come as no surprise. We experience this subtle, silent influence much more than we might think. Every night, when we believe we have interrupted any and all contact with the external world...

read more

22. The Intrabody

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 67-69

The images that live within us make up a type of body, a particular, minor body, what we apprehend in dream. Dream is the experience of a body that is entirely outlined by the sensible. In our waking lives, our bodies also live on sensations, and mostly when our senses are active and turned toward the external...

read more

23. Being Constantly Elsewhere

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 70-72

In dream, as well as in the waking hours, the sensible defines a part of our body, and vice versa; our body is the making present [attualità] of a certain sensible. A new anatomy should cease to see our bodies as only a deposit of forms, the substrate (hypokeimenon) of what we do or achieve, and this...

read more

24. Seeds

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 73-75

The sensible defines the infinitely appropriable. An image is what permits the subject to appropriate a form without transforming its nature or the nature of the object it resembles. Every image opens a space of absolute appropriability for things salva existentia veritateque rerum, without those...

read more

25. Influences

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 76-78

As every exterior image has psychogenic consequences for those who receive it, so too does every image that we emit produce effects. If we emit images, if we strive to sensify the spirit, to produce the sensible out of it, it is because images are not merely cognitive realities. Above every thing else...

read more

26. On the Surface of the Skin

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 79-82

The sensible life is not something that the senses alone allow us to experience. The senses do not define its conditions of possibility. It begins earlier because of the apparently banal yet decisive fact that every living being appears to other living beings. The contact among living beings always occurs...

read more

27. Metaphysics of Clothing

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 83-86

Commerce with the sensible is not just passive, nor does it have merely cognitive functions for the human animal. Man is the animal that uses the sensible not only to know and be known. The experience of the mirror is the first and most immediate demonstration of this fact. Only by...

read more

28. Fashion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 87-89

Fashion is oft en interpreted so as to understand better the form of the special relationship with temporality or is delved into with the aim of grasping the relationship that binds the individual to the society and its rules. The meaning, however, of the very fact of having clothes remains to...

read more

29. Making the World Our Skin

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 90-91

If, as we have seen, skin is an organ of appearance, then skin and imagination (or skin and language) are tied together in man by an extremely deep bond. Just as dress expressed the faculty of transforming into one’s own body—in skin— a foreign, mundane object, so then is language the faculty...

read more

30. The Body of Clothing

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 92-94

Clothing does not stand opposite the body. It is merely a second or minor body, in the same way that the organic body, according to ancient Platonic theology, is the first clothing of the soul. Clothing, however, has different features vis- à- vis the anatomical elements of the body. Clothing is a body...

read more

31. Ethos

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 95-96

Fashion really ought to be interpreted as a transcendental faculty of the individual: as the power of a body, to have clothes, to transform what is a foreign portion of the world into the place of one’s own appearance and truth. A body has fashion when its truth resides in another body. In this...

read more

32. Living in Images

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 97-98

Dream, skin, fashion and design, tattoos, experience, language, or biological reproduction: There is a bond between life and images that goes beyond the fact of knowledge and is not reducible to the articulation of substance and accidents, or to nature and operation. The image captures the real...

Sources

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 99-100

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 101-106

Series Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 107-108