Written by Hubert Dreyfus
U.C. Berkeley philosophy professor Hubert Dreyfus discusses the importance of Merleau-Ponty's renowned focus on the "body" to "grip" reality's "gestalt" for "skillful coping" ... for Merleau-Ponty it is the physical body with its "skills" that allow us to "relate to things" and others via "intercorporeality" which is deemed "magical" ... the body is always "geared" toward the world...
The term ‘intercorporeality’ simultaneously foregrounds the social nature of the body and the bodily nature of social relationships. As a concept, it emphasizes the role of social interactions in the construction and behaviours of the body: ‘the experience of being embodied is never a private affair, but is always mediated by our continual interactions with other human and nonhuman bodies’ (Weiss, 1999, p. 5). At the same time, it suggests that our existence in relation to others – our intersubjectivity – is something tangible and bodily (Csordas, 2008).
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The next issue of Cafe Philosophy: on the topic of Existentialism, will be released toward the end of the week.