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(2013) The phenomenology of embodied subjectivity, Dordrecht, Springer.

Inter-subjectively meaningful symptoms in anorexia

Dorothée Legrand

pp. 185-201

In the view proposed here, anorexia is not understood as primarily involving the construction of a body image with obsessive care for its shape and weight. What anorexics primarily seek is rather a manifestation of themselves as someone irreducible to a thing, someone who ought to be addressed by others without involving the transaction of things. Patients don't only express this in the world but also communicate it to others: what the anorexic writes on her body is the following message which she directs at (relevant) others who may possibly read it: this (body) is how I want to be loved by you, as a subject irreducible to any object. Such anorexic subject does not only express in a space sharable with others what she is as subject: no thing. She also communicates to others how she wants to relate to them beyond the transaction of objects and exchange of bodies. In this sense, anorexia is intrinsically inter-subjective. More generally, it is my hope that this paper manages to convey the idea that symptoms are meaningful and thereby inter-subjective, i.e. expressive or even communicative.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-01616-0_10

Full citation:

Legrand, D. (2013)., Inter-subjectively meaningful symptoms in anorexia, in D. Moran (ed.), The phenomenology of embodied subjectivity, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 185-201.

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