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The ill body and das Unheimliche (the Uncanny).

Authors
  • Warsop, Andrew
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of medicine and philosophy
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2011
Volume
36
Issue
5
Pages
484–495
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/jmp/jhr038
PMID: 22025583
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The ill body is sometimes phenomenologically interpreted as a "broken tool" encountered in an uncanny way. I argue that this is not what is most uncanny about illness. Within the context of an account of Freud and Heidegger's work, I argue that in health, we are generally alienated from the way our bodies will become inert, lifeless corpses. In the uncanniness of illness (and sometimes other situations), we may be reattuned to this horrific certainty and disabused of the comforting view that our bodies are reparable tools. I revisit Zaner's characterization of the uncanny and show how his notion of "chill and implicatedness" captures the dynamic sense of alienation that characterizes how we are bodily Being-toward death.

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