The living body in the phenomenological tradition tends to be thought of as the living body of the acting and perceiving subject, which is then analyzed by way of subjective self-reflection. Plessner′s concept of the living body differs in two ways from this view predominant in phenomenology. First, Plessner does not approach the living body in terms of a reflection of subjective experience, but rather he seeks to understand from the outside the fact that there is an ego that experiences his or her living body. Second, Plessner′s theory of excentric positionality regards the structure of bodily experience from the perspective of the Shared world , i.e., the relationship to the other. Thus the starting point of his analysis of experience is not the living body, but the living body as shaped by the Shared world . Plessner′s theoretical program can serve as a foundation for integrating social theory and the analysis of the history of the living body, as developed in Hermann Schmitz′ work on the history of bodily experience as well as in Barbara Duden and Thomas Laqueur′s work on the history of the body
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DOI 10.1524/dzph.2011.0047
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