Re: [-empyre-] introduction here -

On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, eugenie wrote:

> i'm not so sure, however, that i'd be in a hurry to describe the body as
> 'always already a cultural object'.  .... can we make this assumption of the
> body in toto? for sure it has its cultural 'skin' - it wouldn't otherwise be
> visible as a body - but beneath/beside this skin we also occasionally
> glimpse the trace of a prereflective body - the body before the code... or
> maybe it's better to describe it as those aspects of embodiment and embodied
> perception that are unresponsive to coding, uncodable.
> >
I think you're right to some extent - Kristeva also talks about the chora
or pre-oedipal, pre-linguistic aspect of the body. And at the base of the
body, at its heart, is muteness. But coding is inextricably woven within
all of this. By coding, by the way, I don't mean necessarily _language_
per se - there's neural coding, there's what Pribram called 'retinal
coding' (before the optic nerve even transmmits), etc. One can go down to
the level of DNA and who knows what in cosmology at the other end of

> there's a big difference between describing consciousness as intentional,
> and embodiment as intentional. husserl was still sunk in the cartesian swamp
> to an extent - he was only able to think the individual material body by
> circumscribing it in what he called a 'second order reduction' - i.e. by
> taking the distanced view of the cartesian observer, and abstracting
> himself-as-self from that body. this is husserl's achilles heel - the
> 'failure' of the phenomenological reduction, which, as it happens, is
> merleau-ponty's point of departure in 'the phenomenology of perception'...
Embodiment is intentional since it's motivated, the body is always in an
attitude - even the meditating or somnolent body. It's not a thing. Death
is the final substance of its trajectory.

Flaubert's St-Antoine has Anthony at the end sinking into the massivity of
life and worlds - it's the symbolic, the sun (a Christological figure)
that saves him. But I think the saving/salvation is illusory, and that
all, from below as from above, is motivated, however blindly.

I realize I'm talking myself into a corner here...


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