Husserl distinguishes between the human body, as experienced from a first-person perspective (Leib, rendered in English as “the Body” or “lived body”), and the human body, as it is experienced from a third-person, especially from a scientific, perspective (Körper). The Body plays important roles in his discussions of self-awareness, other-awareness, and perceptual experience. Thus, the Body, with its kinaesthetic systems, shapes the ways in which I can come into perceptual contact with objects, or the “horizons” in terms of which objects are given to me (See Husserl: Horizonality.). In the experience of encountering the other, the constitutive empathy could not set to work, were it not for the other’s embodiment, enabling one to experience the relevant similarities and differences between oneself and the other. Also, the Husserlian ego is not to be regarded as akin to a Cartesian mental substance, but is constituted as embodied. This accounts not only for our perceptual abilities, but also for our capacity to will and act. Thus, our experiences have passive and active aspects, and these are interwoven in complex ways.
Gallagher 1986 rejects the Husserlian view that there are “hyletic data” (or sensations), and develops a Merleau-Pontyan account of perception, based on the notion of the lived body. Countering the view that embodiment was only first thematized by Merleau-Ponty and the other later phenomenologists, Zahavi 1994 argues that Husserl systematically integrated this topic into his transcendental phenomenology. Mensch 2000 regards Husserl’s discussions of embodiment as unified by the idea that “presence and embodiment imply each other”, and discusses a number of topics from the point of view of an embodied, “postfoundational” philosophy. Dodd 1997, too, argues that the problem of the body is of central importance for Husserl’s transcendental idealism, and that it eventually provides the key to understanding human beings as “spiritual”. Lotz 2007 discusses the lived body as rendering possible various forms of “affection”, thereby facilitating one’s commerce with the environment, as well as one’s relationships with other subjects. Based on Bernhard Waldenfels’ university lectures, Waldenfels 2000 offers thorough discussions of different aspects of embodied subjectivity. Behnke 1996 puts forward a program for the study of the lived body.
|Introductions||Zahavi 2003, Ch. 3, Moran 2005, Ch. 7|
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