Phenomenology and Embodiment
Husserl and the Constitution of Subjectivity
Publication Year: 2014
At the dawn of the modern era, philosophers reinterpreted their subject as the study of consciousness, pushing the body to the margins of philosophy. With the arrival of Husserlian thought in the late nineteenth century, the body was once again understood to be part of the transcendental field. And yet, despite the enormous influence of Husserl’s phenomenology, the role of "embodiment" in the broader philosophical landscape remains largely unresolved. In his ambitious debut book, Phenomenology and Embodiment, Joona Taipale tackles the Husserlian concept—also engaging the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Michel Henry—with a comprehensive and systematic phenomenological investigation into the role of embodiment in the constitution of self-awareness, intersubjectivity, and objective reality. In doing so, he contributes a detailed clarification of the fundamental constitutive role of embodiment in the basic relations of subjectivity.
Published by: Northwestern University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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This work was written mainly in 2006– 9 in Helsinki and Copenhagen, and an earlier version of it was accepted as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Helsinki in 2009. In many ways, the process of writing was positively influenced by the dialogue with several colleagues and friends...
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In the dawn of the modern era, philosophy was reinterpreted as the study of consciousness, and along with this move the body was cast into the side of the object, and hence pushed into the margins of philosophy. Descartes famously argued that the body is something completely different...
Part 1: Selfhood and the Lived-Body
1. Self-Awareness and Sensibility
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The first task here is to investigate the role of embodiment in the constitution of self- awareness. I will explicate the temporal and affective structure of self- awareness, examine how self- awareness is localized, discuss the role of bodily self- awareness in the constitution of the perceptual...
2. The Environment and the Lived-Body
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The constitution of our sensuous environment goes hand in hand with our bodily self- constitution. We can be conscious of the environment only insofar as we are bodily self- aware, and our bodily self- awareness correlates with, and thus also outlines, our awareness of the environment...
3. The Bodily Self
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Thus far, I have argued that the dimension of hyletic- kinesthetic self-affection equals to a primal sense of selfhood, shown how this affective sphere is localized, and clarified the sense in which the self has a perceivable exteriority. What, accordingly, is the relation between the self and...
Part 2: Intersubjectivity
4. A Priori Intersubjectivity
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Until now, I have been investigating consciousness in relation to itself, and I have argued that self- awareness is fundamentally bodily self-awareness: subjectivity is embodied even before it becomes aware of having a body. What has been said up to now enables an investigation of the...
5. Reciprocity and Sociality
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The transcendence of others is originally implied in the transcendence of the perceived environment, but this does not mean that empathy only reveals what was implicitly there already. To be sure, insofar as the other is taken to perceive the same environment, she is experienced as an exemplar...
6. Historicity and Generativity
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Until now I have been discussing two types of intersubjectivity: a priori intersubjectivity, originally implied by the horizon- structure of perceptual consciousness, and social intersubjectivity, a reciprocal empathic experience of others—and I have argued that both, in different senses, presuppose...
Part 3: Normality and Objective Reality
7. Primordial and Intersubjective Normality
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Thus far we have been discussing subjectivity in relation to itself and in relation to others, and the centrality of embodiment in both relations has been highlighted. This fi nal part focuses on the signifi cance of embodiment in the constitution of objective reality. The preceding part was concluded with the claim that even though...
8. Transcendental Consequences
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In the previous chapter, I studied the genetic constitution of intersubjective objectivity. I elaborated how an encounter between individual subjectivities (primordialities) gives rise to intersubjective normality, and how an encounter between intersubjective normalities (homeworlds)...
9. Paradox of Subjectivity Revisited
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My rather extensive elaboration on animals has brought to light the manner in which the constitution of the intersubjective nature is related to primordial constitution. In the following, I will clarify the simultaneous presence of primordial and intersubjective normative structures in the...
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By introducing embodiment into the midst of the transcendental dimension, Husserlian phenomenology restores intuitivity to transcendental philosophy and revises the transcendental tradition on the whole. At the same time, this move makes phenomenology more responsive and...
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Page Count: 253
Publication Year: 2014