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Biological body and embodied Self in Emmanuel Levinas

Rita Fulco


In this essay I would like to show that Levinas’s reflection on the body is heterogeneous with respect to dualistic positions: both with respect to those that theorize a natural supremacy of the soul over the body, and with respect to those that theorize the need for the prevalence of an immanent sphere, reducing the body to bios. My hypothesis is that the philosophical roots of the theory of
incarnation (which is outlined in Otherwise than Being) have to be sought, not only in the important dealings with the Husserlian phenomenology (for example with the two key concepts of Körper and Leib), but also in the dealings with the racist biologism of Nazism and with Levinas’s personal experience of prison.


body; soul; incarnation; phenomenology; biologism, motherhood

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