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.

Issue 153, August 2019 Utopia Inverted: Günther Anders, Technology and the Social

This small glimpse of the formative contexts and personal and intellectual networks that shaped the trajectory of Anders’s work as a thinker, poet, and literary author gives a sense of how Anders’s writings can be mapped back onto the intellectual landscape of the 20th century in multiple and often unexpected ways.1 Over the last 25 years, this has given rise to a now vast body of scholarly work in German, French, and Italian (there are over 50 book-length engagements with Anders), and this special journal issue marks the growing interest in Anders’s work in Anglophone research