flected Bodies: on the relationship between body and language

Emmanuel Alloa
University of Fribourg
Although in the modern age there were plenty of attempts to overcome the mind-body dualism, its philosophical theories of language reintroduced it in a subtle but not less effective way.In this article several theorems to think on the materiality of the sign are discussed, and, from Kierkegaard to the post-Saussurean structuralism, the prominent role of thinking the materialization as something necessary but arbitrary in its modality is shown. The body of language under this understanding is not only that which can be modified, but that which must be modifiable: the corporeality of the utterance must be substitutable in order to preserve the unit of meaning. Nevertheless, in many cases, the meaning comes precisely from the unsubstitutable singularity, from the configuration of the signs in poetry or from the inimitable actor’s gestures.The article argues for introducing in this discussion the phenomenological distinction between Körper and Leib , which – as Husserl suggested – may also be thought from the difference between what can be represented and what cannot be represented, between what does not have a constituent role and hence can be substituted, and what allows to be represented by another because it is irreplaceable.
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