Il corpo e la sua eccedenza. The body and its surplus, vol. 2 PDF Stampa E-mail
Scritto da Edizioni ETS   
Martedì 07 Dicembre 2021 00:00

Teoria, 2021-2, coverIn un momento storico in cui gran parte della popolazione mondiale, a causa della pandemia di Covid-19, si è ritrovata nella situazione – praticamente inedita – di essere pesantemente limitata nella propria libertà di movimento, si ripropone prepotentemente la domanda sul corpo, tanto su quello proprio, individuale, quanto su quello sociale, collettivo.

Entro tale quadro problematico, «Teoria» dedica due numeri a questa discussione. Nel primo sono stati raccolti saggi che trattavano del corpo, o della corporeità, secondo una direttrice storico-concettuale. Questo secondo numero, invece, analizza il tema principalmente dal punto di vista del pensiero contemporaneo,
privilegiando una prospettiva che tiene particolarmente in considerazione la dimensione eminentemente politica della corporeità.

At a historical moment in which a large part of the world’s population, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, found itself – a situation practically unprecedented – severely limited in their freedom of movement, the question about the body, both individual and social arises again urgently.

Within this problematic framework, «Teoria» devotes two issues to this discussion. The first issue contained essays that dealt with the theme of the body along historical and conceptual lines. The present issue considers this topic mainly from the point of view of contemporary philosophy, favoring a perspective that especially considers the political dimension of corporeality.


Premise / Premessa, Virgilio Cesarone, Annette Hilt, Antonio Lucci, Open access, pp.5-7


Social Gestures as the Condition of Social Acts, Petar Bojanić, pp. 9-22

The thematization of social gestures and social acts is practically inexis-tent, despite a classification of various such actions emerging in texts by great philosophers of  the  beginning  of  the  last  century.  My  intention  is  to  argue,  drawing  on  entirely  marginal  suggestions  of  several  authors  who  belong  to  different genres of philosophy and sociology, that there are indeed acts that are  justifiably  called  “social  gestures”.  Their  role  in  the  construction  of  a  group  or  institution  may  be  significant.  Not  only  would  they  not  be  a  mere  parasite or addition to social acts (which usually refers to linguistic acts), but they would directly participate in the construction of social acts and enable their  efficient  conduct.  In  addition,  the  role  of  social  gestures,  whose  main  characteristics are corporeality, visibility, and vivacity, could be a kind of a priori to the existence of the social group as such.


Deissi, evoluzione, intersoggettività.Il tema del corpo nella fenomenologia antropologica di Hans Blumenberg, Giovanni Leghissa, pp. 23-40

English title: Deixis, Evolution, Intersubjectivity. The Body in the Anthropological Phenomenology of Hans Blumenberg.

The essay outlines the conceptual tools needed to frame the transcendental stance according to Blumenberg’s anthropological phenomenology. The start-ing point of the analysis coincides with the central role that both the human body and intersubjectivity play within Blumenberg’s attempt to force Husserl’s phenomenology toward a radicalization – meant as a naturalization – of the transcendental  stance.  The  theoretical  core  of  Blumenberg’s  argument  consists in a philosophical reassessment of evolutionary biology, which leads to interpreting  human  reason  and  its  function  as  a  byproduct  of  the  evolution  of  Homo  sapiens.  Blumenberg’s  efforts  aiming  at  an  anthropological  foundation of phenomenology, however, does not usher in a dismissal of the transcendental stance – such an outcome would imply, in fact, self-destruction of philosophy as a theoretical undertaking. In this context, it is worth taking into consideration the deixis, i.e. the act of indicating an object in front of a peer; the deixis reveals a peculiar structure of intersubjective encounter with the  sensible  world  and,  at  the  same  time,  testifies  that  the  logical  domain  of  the  indexicals  pertains  to  a  sphere  that  cannot  be  reduced  to  the  natural  world. This peculiar intertwinement of the transcendental and the empirical constitutes precisely the paradoxical way of articulating phenomenologically the question of the transcendental foundation. The essay concludes by refer-ring to Luhmann’s system theory, which offers fruitful arguments in order to understand the inevitability of paradox when the phenomenological founda-tion is in the present context.


Corpo biologico e “io incarnato” in Emmanuel Levinas, Rita Fulco, pp. 41-58

English title: Biological body and embodied Self in Emmanuel Levinas.

In this essay I would like to show that Levinas’s reflection on the body is heterogeneous with respect to dualistic positions: both with respect to those that theorize a natural supremacy of the soul over the body, and with respect to those that theorize the need for the prevalence of an immanent sphere, reducing the body to bios. My hypothesis is that the philosophical roots of the theory of
incarnation (which is outlined in Otherwise than Being) have to be sought, not only in the important dealings with the Husserlian phenomenology (for example with the two key concepts of Körper and Leib), but also in the dealings with the racist biologism of Nazism and with Levinas’s personal experience of prison.


La seconda vita della biopolitica. Dal corpo come eccedenza all’istituzione della vita (1995-2020), Francesco Marchesi, pp. 59-76

English title: Biopolitics’ second life. From the body as surplus to the institution of life (1995-2020).

The international debate concerning biopolitics has been a global impact during the last three decades. After Michel Foucault’s introduction of the term in the philosophical discussion in the Seventies, the problematic has been particularly developed in the Italian philosophy of the Nineties.
Authors like Giorgio Agamben and Antonio Negri significantly contribute to define a perimeter that, if represents an important evolution of the Foucauldian investigation, constitutes only one among many approaches to this issue. In the new century, indeed, a multiplicity of new positions about biopolitics emerged: if Agamben and Negri, even in a very distinct way, share the idea of a surplus of the biopolitical body (individual and collective) with respect to the forms of political power, the second line of biopolitics, also in a pluralistic way, emphasizes the problem of the forms of life, of the protection of life and of its affirmation through, and not against, the institutions. The philosophical studies  of  Roberto  Esposito  and  Miguel  Vatter,  the  sociological  research  of  Thomas Lemke and the medical investigation of Didier Fassin, among others, claim that the individual and collective body is a creation of political power, rather than a excess, autonomous with respect to the political apparatuses. In this view life is a political construction, and the forms of this creation affirm or negate life itself.
This  essay intends  to  reconstruct  this transformation:  in  the  first  part  we  will  describe  the  anti-institutional  foundation  of  the  biopolitical  philosophy  especially in the Italian context, then we will analyze the positions that provoke a change in this theoretical framework. Finally, also taking into account recent developments, we will illustrate some possible evolutions of the whole problematic.


Corpus, Amore, Sessistenza: critica della ragione tattile e ontologia aptica a partire dalla “filosofia del corpo” di Jean-Luc Nancy, Francesca R. Recchia Luciani, pp. 77-98

English title: Corpus, Love, Sexistence: criticism of tactile reason and haptic ontology starting from the “philosophy of the body” by Jean-Luc Nancy.

The recent global experience of the pandemic that has imposed the physical “distancing” and the taboo of the contact as a vehicle of contagion forces contemporary  philosophy  to  question  itself  on  a  new  centrality  of  the  body starting from the reflections of Jean-Luc Nancy, who thought of the corpore-ality as a relationship between others bodies / bodies of others and the com-munity as the “being with” of bodies in relation. From Corpus to Sessistence, the ontological core of Nancy’s thought implants community on the “singular plural” body and identifies touch as the sense of “in-common” and of “being with”. In this essay, a critique of tactile reason intends to relaunch Nancy’s
haptic and corporeal ontology through a dialogue with the trans-feminist and queer  approach  that  considers  too  the  body  and  sex  (as  action  of intercon-nection) as places of self-determination and transformative liberation of the plural singularities that we all are.


Questo corpo che dunque sono, Federico Valgimigli, pp. 99-116

English title: This body that therefore I am.

It is clear that, in the last century, the body has found a centrality often previously neglected, if not directly denied, by our tradition of thought. The objective of the article is not to produce a historiographical survey of the main philosophical analyses that have been conducted on the body, in our contemporaneity.  Rather  I  am  interested,  here,  to  outline  an  attempt  of  practical  philosophy.  I  would  try  to  apply  some  of  the  main  concepts  elaborated  by  Deleuze  and  Guattari  (Body  without  Organs,  becoming-other,  processes  of  individuation, de-territorialization and reterrtorialization) and by Foucault (technologies  of  the  self  and  practices  of  subjection,  use  of  pleasures)  to  my  own body as it was experienced in the whole of my growth process, starting from the kierkegaardian concept of occasion. An attempt of practical philos-ophy, therefore, precisely because what is proposed is to immanentize in (my) flesh  and  in  practice  the  set  of  notions  and  categories,  proposed  by  Deleuze  and  Foucault,  concerning  the  body,  the  flesh  and  the  processes  of  subjecti-vation  and  modification.  In  outlining  this  research  there  will  be  analysed  and used some of the main philosophical analyses of the Twentieth century dedicated specifically to the analysis of corporeality (Merlau-Ponty, Nancy, Sartre,  Deleuze  and  Foucault);  but  useful  insights  will  also  be  drawn  from  authors  who  have  not  devoted  much  attention  to  this  subject  (Wittgenstein  and Stirner). A tripartition of the body will also be introduced, which will be divided  and  analysed  from  three  elements:  the  organism,  meat  and  satura-tion areas. At the end of the paper, we will return to the whole body as it was intended within my practice of subjectivation.


Vilém Flusser e l’eccedenza del corpo nella società telematica, Marco Menon, pp. 117-136

English title: Vilém Flusser and the Body as Surplus in the Telematic Society.

This contribution aims to offer a perspective on the surplus of the body according to Vilém Flusser (1920-1991). It will explore the thesis according to which the bulk of the human body tends to become a surplus within the context of  “postindustrial  culture”  and  its  informational  apparatuses.  This  surplus  presents an ambiguity. On one hand, the human body is conceived as a suffering  and  annoying  surplus  (as  reduced  to  an  anachronistic  appendage  of  the “fingertips-keyboard” telematic interface). On the other hand, the human body  manifests  a  creative  potential  open  to  biotechnological  practices  with  emancipatory ambitions (the body as a field of possibilities to be realized in view of a full devotion to the dialogical life). In both cases, the importance of the bodily dimension of our experience as human beings is reduced, since our existential interests lie in the production of immaterial information.


Embodied cognition, teoria causale dell’azione e sense of agency, Fiorella Battaglia, pp. 137-153

English title: Embodied cognition, causal theory of action and sense of agency.

It is necessary to wait for the most recent developments of embodied cognition to give empirical evidence to the bodily involvement of the agent in the theory of action. The construct of the “sense of agency” provides new elements to overcome the vision of an agency theorized in the absence of bodily mechanisms  of  sensory  processing  and  motor  control.  It  provides  a  direct  knowledge  of  our  actions  based  neither  on  observation  nor  inference  and  can  be  implemented in a computational model of the agent. What is more, robotics studies fit into this picture. By investigating what happens at the neural level when we add an extension to the agent’s body makes it possible to correlate the  knowledge  related  to  the  phenomenological  experience  with  the  knowledge related to the neural level. By combining a theoretical approach with a  radical  approach  that  relies  on  the  construction  of  complete  intelligent  sys-tems  with  a  real  apparatus  of  perception  and  movement  that  interacts  with  the  environment,  one  can  avoid  misleading  results.  This  approach  presents  strong  evidence  that  the  sense  of  agency  originates  in  the  neural  processes  responsible for the motor aspects of action. I will discuss how these recent results are compatible with a causal theory of action. My aim is to contribute to a compatibilist perspective able of integrating the knowledge stemming from different approaches to the same phenomenon. Paying scientific attention to the body does not necessarily mean surrendering to naturalism; it implies not being entangled in an alleged tension between two cultures.


Filosofia e tecnologie digitali: un approccio fenomenologico, Guelfo Carbone, pp. 155-171

English title: Philosophy and digital technologies: a phenomenological approach.

The present paper assumes the phenomenological method with the aim of outlining a philosophical understanding of our symbiotic and synergetic interaction with current technologies by trying to reflect on both the computational  and  the  bodily  aspects  inherent  in  the  term  “digital”  at  one  and  the  same time. In the first section the scope of the inquiry is to be clarified, drawing on the structural and fruitful ambivalence of the digital. Furthermore, the phenomenological account of the embodiment is discussed as a suitable lead in  order  to  understand  our  relationship  with  digital  technologies.  The  last  section, then, lists a number of issues that the philosophical research has to face while approaching the tentative interpretation of the techno-ecosystem in which such a relationship continuously evolves.


Vulnerabilità gloriosa. Il corpo cristologico come eccedenza del corpo sofferente e morto, Carlo Chiurco, Leopoldo Sandonà, pp. 173-193

English title: Glorious Vulnerability. The Christological body as surplus of the suffering and dead body.

Grounded in the experience of the ontological fragility of the body, vulnerability – a key notion of contemporary philosophical debate – marks the starting point of philosophical enquiries, such as Judith Butler’s, striving to elaborate an  original  a-normativity  manifesting  itself  in  the  disruptive  forms  that  let  the body appear as a surplus of meaning, such as ectasis, grief, and political subversion. However, all these conceptions imply a kenotic anthropology, where the meaning of human experience consists in the human’s own loss. Its ethical equivalent is the (not necessarily shared) reciprocity of such loss. This amount to a vision of the “wound”, from which vulnerability originates, always as cutting from the outside to the inside, as an opening that means a loss, and denies the authentically relational dimension of mutual recognition. Ancient figures of vulnerability agree to this meaning of the wound, too. On the contrary, the episode  of  the  disbelief  of  the  apostle  Thomas  shows  an  opposite  perspective,  where the wound is a cutting from the inside to the outside: an opening that means whole-ness, and allows the manifestation of the meaning of the human as absolute positivity while not denying its full vulnerability, and, in doing so, without  making  a  claim  neither  to  sovereignty  nor  to  violence.  Such  positive  meaning of vulnerability as “opening as wholeness”, in turn, manifests itself at the ethical level as an anthropology of irrevocable dedication to the other, where the latter is recognized as s/he is, while being actively taken care of.