Authors
Hub Zwart
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Abstract
Throughout the 20th century, philosophers have criticized the scientific understanding of the human body. Instead of presenting the body as a meaningful unity or Gestalt, it is regarded as a complex mechanism and described in quasi-mechanistic terms. In a phenomenological approach, a more intimate experience of the body is presented. This approach, however, is questioned by Jacques Lacan. According to Lacan, three basic possibilities of experiencing the body are to be distinguished: the symbolical body, the imaginary body and the real body. Whereas the symbolical body is increasingly objectified by medical science, the phenomenological perception amounts to an idealization of the body. The real body cannot be perceived immediately. Rather, it emerges in the folds and margins of our efforts to symbolize or idealize the body, which are bound to remain incomplete and fragile. In the first part of the article, Lacan's conceptual distinction between the symbolical, the imaginary and the real body will be explained. In the second part, this distinction will be further clarified by relying on crucial chapters in the history of anatomy.
Keywords Medicine & Public Health   Ethics   History of Medicine   Theory of Medicine/Bioethics   Medical Law
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1023/A:1009950303846
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,178
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Transplant Medicine as Borderline Medicine.Volker H. Schmidt - 2003 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 6 (3):319-321.
Health Care and The Human Body.Henk A. M. J. Ten Have - 1998 - Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 1 (2):103-105.
Getting Beyond Classical Liberalism: The Human Body and the Property Paradigm.[author unknown] - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 1 (3):279-281.
The Lived Body of the Psychosomatic Patient.Søren Holm - 2000 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 3 (1):77-80.
The Body as Object Versus the Body as Subject: The Case of Disability.Steven D. Edwards - 1998 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 1 (1):47-56.
Autonomy, Integrity and the Human Body.Bert Gordijn & Wim Dekkers - 2005 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 8 (2):145-146.
The Evolution of Western Medicine.Henrik R. Wulff - 1998 - Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 1 (1):79-81.
The Language of Medicine and Bioethics.Henk Have & Bert Gordijn - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13 (3):191-192.
The Language of Medicine and Bioethics.Henk ten Have & Bert Gordijn - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13 (3):191-192.
A Return to Biological Thinking in Medicine.Henrik R. Wulff - 2001 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 4 (1):1-3.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-02-20

Total views
3 ( #1,329,112 of 2,454,972 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #303,322 of 2,454,972 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes