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Guest Speaker: “Does the Body Exist? Deconstruction and Phenomenology”, Claude Romano (Australian Catholic University)
The idea of deconstruction as formulated by Heidegger (before Derrida and differently from him) implies to question the provenance of our concepts in order to bring out ways of relating to phenomena that have been concealed by a received and crystallized conceptuality. I would like to illustrate this idea from a significant example: the notion of body. It seems obvious to us that the human being possesses something like a “body” that can be separated from the other part that constitutes it, the spirit or the psyche. However, at the beginning of Western thought, there was probably nothing that could be called “the body”. In presenting the way in which this notion has taken shape, we would like to ask ourselves what it would be like to have a phenomenology of our embodied existence that would not take this distinction for granted. By the same token, I would like to illustrate the relevance of a historical and narrative approach to philosophical problems for the practice of philosophy itself.
Professor Claude Romano is Maître de Conferences (HDR) in Philosophy, University of Paris-Sorbonne. His first books are translated into English with Fordham University Press as Event and World (2009), Event and Time (2013) and There is: The Event and the Finitude of Appearing (2015). He also published a book devoted to a phenomenological reading of the work of William Faulkner (Le chant de la vie. Phénoménologie de Faulkner, Gallimard, 2005). He recently completed a volume on the history of the idea of ‘personal truth’, or truth ‘in life itself’, from Aristotle and Augustine to Heidegger (Être soi-même. Une autre histoire de la philosophie, Paris, Gallimard, 2019), and an essay on the future of phenomenology, Les repères éblouissants. Renouveler la phénoménologie, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2019.
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