Matthew Barker on Alfonso Lingis: ‘The bodies that touch us’
by Matthew Barker
Alfonso Lingis asks the reader in the opening paragraph of Bodies That Touch Us: “are the bodies we touch really the bodies described by phenomenology?” (p.159). His question probes the limits of the possibilities of description vis a vis the actual body described. To answer the question, Lingis wanders through selected phenomenological texts and writers, pulling attention to moments of significance. His approach is meditative rather than calculative (see Heidegger, 1966) and his overture to Maurice Merleau-Ponty is as noticeable as his silence on Emmanuel Levinas.