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(1966) Essays in phenomenology, Den Haag, Nijhoff.

The upright posture

Erwin Straus

pp. 164-192

A breakdown of physical well-being is alarming; it turns our attention to functions which on good days we take for granted. A healthy person does not ponder about breathing, seeing, walking. Infirmities of breath, sight, or gait, startle us. Among the patients consulting a psychiatrist, there are some who can no longer master the seemingly banal arts of standing and walking. They are not paralyzed; but, under certain conditions, they cannot, or feel as if they cannot, keep themselves upright. They tremble and quiver. Incomprehensible terror takes away their strength. Sometimes a minute change in the physiognomy of the frightful situation may restore their strength. Obviously, upright posture is not confined to the technical problems of locomotion. It contains a psychological element. It is pregnant with a meaning not exhausted by the physiological tasks of meeting the forces of gravity and keeping the equilibrium.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-5403-3_10

Full citation:

Straus, E. (1966)., The upright posture, in M. Natanson (ed.), Essays in phenomenology, Den Haag, Nijhoff, pp. 164-192.

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