The Human Body

  • Wim J. M. Dekkers
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 8)


It is a commonplace, but at the same time a statement that raises many philosophical questions, to say that man consists of a material part, that is the body, and an immaterial part, that is the soul, the mind, or whatever it may be called. In the long history of Western European philosophy the soul, the mind, and the consciousness have always received ample philosophical attention, while philosophical interest in the human body has been marginal. Concepts of the body have mainly come into play where the definition of the soul, the mind, or the mind-body relationship is at issue. The body as a problem could only become of real importance after the relationship of body and mind had become a philosophical problem of central concern (Verwey, 1990). From a historical perspective, it is in the twentieth century only that the body ‘as such’ has received philosophical attention. For two or three decades the body has called attention from other disciplines as well. Nowadays, a rather extensive literature about philosophical, social and cultural aspects of the human body exists.1


Human Body Multiple Sclerosis Patient Living Body Dead Body Narrative Text 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

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  • Wim J. M. Dekkers

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