Heidegger's Neglect of the Body
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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.