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Gaynutdinov, T. R. The Place of Body Writing in the Structure of Being

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2014-8 in rubric "History of ideas and teachings", pages 1115-1120.

Resume: Appealing to René Descartes’ works, the author of the article considers the exposition of the body in the structure of being. Comparing concepts of ‘extension’ and ‘body’, the author sets a goal to analyze the spatial model of physicality in Cartesianism. Thus spatiality of a body is viewed here ontologically as the ‘extension of the physical being’. Cartesianism views the physical body as a part of the structure of being and for this reason the body ontology here is the ‘ontology in the true sense’ as Jean-Luc Nancy noted. Generally following the topological method of the description of physicality that dominated in Descartes’s texts, the author at the same time combines the topological method with the phenomenological analysis offered by Merlot Ponty. Indeed, Descartes analyzed the body exclusively spatially, but it would be incorrect to consider that the space determines the body. It is rather that Cartesianism views the body as the ‘alienation of space’. This is what Descartes used to develop the concept of the ‘body-machine’, i.e. the concrete body with particular functions. The author of article also comes to a conclusion that Descartes’s deductive method originates in anatomic practices. Anatomy studies the ‘body divided into parts’ rather than the body as a whole allowing a researcher to define the main elements of the general mechanism of the physical body.

Keywords: René Descartes, Cartesianism, Jean-Luc Nancy, body, ontology, being, space, extension, body-machine, Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2014.8.12443

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