The Discarnate Madman by Emmanuel Falque

Journal for Continental Philosophy of Religion 1 (1):90–117 (2019)
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Translation (French to English) of Emmanuel Falque's "Le fou désincarné." I also wrote a translator's note, placed at the conclusion of the article. Phenomenology must begin to acknowledge the organic, animal nature of the body instead of focusing only on the pure subjectivity of the flesh. Mediating between Descartes's extended body (a mere object that is entirely distinct from the self) and Husserl's lived body (the flesh that is the self), the spread body is the organic body that I have, that is not simply myself and yet is mine. This essay reveals the steep cost of phenomenology's neglect of the body, which produces a discarnation, or dissolution of the flesh itself. The "flesh without body" vanishes into transparency, exemplified by Descartes' "madmen" who lose all connection to their organic bodies, to the point of supposing that their bodies are glass. Because organicity is in fact proper to us, denying or rejecting its import can lead only to madness.

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Sarah Horton
Boston College (PhD)


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