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(1975) Philosophy and phenomenology of the body, Dordrecht, Springer.

The twofold usage of signs and the problem of the constitution of one's own body

Michel Henry

pp. 108-135

The problem of the constitution of the body eludes the field of our investigations because it is not the theme of the reflection which is concentrated on the being of absolute subjectivity and the original ego. However, the need to direct our attention to the being of the constituted body is unavoidable to the extent that we now have to take into consideration a question which can no longer be deferred. If, as we have shown, the being of the body is an originally subjective being, if the life of our body is only a modality of the life of absolute subjectivity, how is it that this, our very own body, has never been considered by the various philosophical systems, by psychology, by scientific reflection as well as by profane thought other than as an element of transcendent being, regardless of the characteristics which they have claimed to assign to our body in order to distinguish it, interior to this region of existence, from other beings which inhabit this region as the body does and among which it appears with certain determinations which do not impede the inauguration of a system of relationships of inherent and reciprocal action, but [150] which rather seem to require more urgently its consideration? Actually, it is only to the extent it is a constituted reality that the body is capable of entertaining with other beings of nature relationships such as those which the sciences would have us conceive, relationships whose validity is likewise universally recognized.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-1681-0_5

Full citation:

Henry, M. (1975). The twofold usage of signs and the problem of the constitution of one's own body, in Philosophy and phenomenology of the body, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 108-135.

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