Ethical reasoning and the embodied, socially situated subject

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (1):55-72 (2004)
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Abstract

My discussion is concerned with how symbolic power constitutively structures our very identities in relation to one another and at the bodily level of lived experience. Although many accounts of the self and of subjectivity as socially situated have difficulties in their explanations of agency, Zaners work suggests a basis upon which the selfs independence from others can be understood. His phenomenology of embodied subjectivity explains how the emerging self presupposes presence with others. At the same time, however, co-presence also reveals the selfs distinct perspective and capacity for circumstantial possibilizing, that is to say, actualizing another possible than the actual. My aim is to examine critically the intersections between Zaners phenomenology and other theoretical accounts of the socially situated self. I also show how Zaners work contributes to these discussions a way of understanding the possibility of agency that is rooted in embodied experience.

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