A Life Form is a Lived Body: the Fundamental Biocentric Level of Empathy and Intercorporeality

  • Beniamino Cianferoni University of Florence
Keywords: Phenomenology, Intersubjectivity, Intercorporeality, Ecological, Edith Stein, Empathy, Non-human world, Lived Body


Phenomenological approaches to empathy and intersubjectivity have overcome some critical and open issues of traditional representationalist accounts, placing the embodied character of the social encounter at the centre of the debate. At this stage, I suggest that it would be possible and important to take a further step away from Cartesian vestiges by abandoning the affective and ontological dualism between human beings and other living beings (animals and plants). I argue that phenomenological and enactivist accounts (e.g. that of Thomas Fuchs) based on characteristics such as pre-reflectivity and sensory experience should posit the fundamental level of empathy and intercorporeality as not anthropocentric, but biocentric. To demonstrate my thesis about the presence of an extended embodied intersubjectivity, I investigate Edith Stein's taxonomy of empathy and I point out how life forms are lived bodies that share a mutual empathic space with human beings. In conclusion, I outline a biocentric refinement of the model of intercorporeality.

How to Cite
Cianferoni, B. (2019). A Life Form is a Lived Body: the Fundamental Biocentric Level of Empathy and Intercorporeality. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 12(36), 244-260. Retrieved from https://www.humanamente.eu/index.php/HM/article/view/304