A Body Worth Having?

Theory, Culture and Society 25 (3):103-129 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Within the ambit of modernity, "to be" a "person" means "to have" "a body." But what exactly do we mean when we say: ‘I have a body’? Who or what is this ‘I’ that ‘has’ ‘a body’ anyway? And how and why does this ‘having’, this possessing, of ‘a body’ confer legal and psychological personhood on us? Does such bodily possession necessarily define a mode of ‘self ownership’? Is distinguishing between the notions of ‘being an organism’, or even ‘being alive’, and ‘having a body’ just a matter of semantics? Or are there pragmatic, bio-political consequences to the ways we construe our vitality and embodiment? Can thinking about ‘the body’ as a (or even, the) matter of ‘self possession’ tell us something interesting about how ‘personhood’ informs our lives? After all, what is ‘the nature’ of ‘the body’, if it can be possessed in such a manner? And does this proprietary way of thinking exhaust the possibilities for how we can imagine what it means to be an organism, a person, a citizen or a human?


Added to PP

23 (#77,441)

6 months
14 (#73,271)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?