Heidegger's Neglect of the Body

By Kevin A. Aho

Subjects: Heidegger, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenology, Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438427768, 192 pages, July 2010
Hardcover : 9781438427751, 192 pages, August 2009

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Table of contents

The Body Problem
Chapter Overview
1. Heidegger’s Project
Dismantling Cartesian Metaphysics
Dasein and Everydayness
Temporality as the Meaning of Being
2. The Missing Dialogue between Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty
The Absence of the Body in Being and Time
The Body and the Problem of Spatiality
The Importance of the Zollikon Seminars
The Limits of Merleau-Ponty’s Relation to Heidegger
3. Gender and Time: On the Question of Dasein’s Neutrality
Fundamental Ontology and the Sex/Gender Divide
Gendered Dasein and Neutral Da-sein
The Gender and Neutrality of Time
4. Life, Logos, and the Poverty of Animals
Dasein’s Animal-Nature
The Question of Life in the Aristotle Lectures
Logos and the Animal Question
The Animal Lectures in Context
Prelude to a Theory of Embodiment
5. The Accelerated Body
Technological Existence
Acceleration and Boredom
Acceleration and Psychotherapy
6. Recovering Play: On Authenticity and Dwelling
Technology and Authentic Historicality
Leisure and Openness to Mystery Conclusion: Embodied Dwelling

Challenges conventional understandings of Heidegger’s account of the body.


Martin Heidegger's failure to acknowledge the role of the body in his analysis of everyday human existence (Dasein) has generated a cottage industry of criticism from such prominent continental figures as Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Derrida, and Irigaray. In Heidegger's Neglect of the Body, Kevin A. Aho suggests the critics largely fail to appreciate Heidegger's nuanced understanding of Dasein, which is not to be interpreted in terms of individual existence but in terms of a shared horizon of being that is already there. Aho further argues that Heidegger—while rarely discussing the body itself—nonetheless makes a significant contribution to theories of embodiment by means of his critique of technological existence and his hermeneutic recovery of more original ways of being that reveal our fragile interconnectedness with things.

Kevin A. Aho is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Florida Gulf Coast University and the coauthor (with James Aho) of Body Matters: A Phenomenology of Sickness, Disease, and Illness.