Body stories w wielu odsłonach i perspektywach, czyli atykuł Alicji Długołęckiej w Panoptikum.
The interactive context of discovering the category of corporeality in a phenomenological approach.


Where do you set boundaries between the I and it – BODY ? Maybe there are no boundaries and maybe there is some kind of wall that went up between the two of you, the wall that you cannot break through. It is important what you think of your body… Maybe these thoughts make you treat your body the way you do.

(„Gratitiude”, Długołęcka, Pieńko, 2018, p. 17)


This article is an attempt to apply the phenomenological approach in research in the field of corporal psychology and physiotherapy. The author, taking Husserl’s assumption, said that “no theory that one could come up with can deceive us as to this principle of all principles: that every source presenting visibility is the source of the legitimacy of knowing that everything that presents to us in “intuition”(to put it in this way: in its bodily reality) it should simply be taken as what it presents, but also only within the limits in which it presents itself ” (Husserl, 1975, p. 87).

Edmund Husserl excluded the possibility of conducting proper research into knowledge derived from such sciences as mathematics and natural sciences. According to him, the beginning of research is a clean, direct way of revealing things in consciousness. The starting point for radical and autonomous knowledge is to see and describe what is directly given. This “seeing” is a kind of self-presentation (Selbstgegebenheit) of the object itself and only it can be considered as the real source of the certainty we seek (Święcicka, 1993, p. 40).

The methodology based on these premises had to fulfil the postulate of “theoretically uninvolved description”. Its implementation requires fulfilment of three conditions: adopting an objective attitude, consisting of paying attention only to the subject being examined, freeing oneself from all knowledge base on scientific and philosophical theories, and getting rid of all elements derived from tradition (Judycki, p. 5). Adopting these assumptions is particularly difficult in the area of the examination of the category of one’s own corporeality.


Your own body is what a human never parts with from the beginning of one’s existence until death. The act of learning about it becomes something unique because unlike other objects, your own body can be captured only from one perspective (Murawska, 2008). Despite social consciousness these days, where the Cartesian dualism of body and soul repents, Descartes himself had closely connected and as if mixed with it, so that I create with it a one whole” (Descartes, p. 96).

An illustration of the subjective concepts of the corporeality of the partici-pants of the project are fragments of their statements (the authors publication):The body is an instrument which is used mostly to practise sports, feed-ing a baby, moving around, going for a walk, carrying a baby…The body is my clothing. Because there’s something that is inside me, something that is the most important. But the body is also very im-portant and it is unified with what I have inside. I always say that you should take care of your body. Because it’s just like with a car. We take care of it, we want it to be clean, nice, and tidy. If it’s scratched, we re-pair it as soon as possible, just after the incident. And we should treat the body in the same way. It is the only one we have for the whole life.The body? Maybe it’ll sound stupid but in a way it is a tool used to satis-fy children’ needs. I have the impression that it’s like that (“Gratitiude”, Długołęcka, Pieńko, 2018, pp. 18-19)

Integrated concept of corporeality

The ontological perspective of carnality in which the body becomes an integral part of the overall structure of oneself, owes its existence to philosophical and psychological directions only created in the second half of the twentieth century. Until then, in science in the area of We stern cu lt u re, ma n was not one psychosomatic unity, but was the sum of the biological body – the subject of medical sciences and mind the subject of psychology (understood, depending on the concept, as an area of consciousness-unconsciousness, self or ego). The first attempts of confrontation with ontological and epistemological problems of body and corporeality brought existential philosophy in relation Patricia Churchland. It was Jean Sartre who drew attention to the fact that the concept of the body as an instrument of the subject is wrong, because in the case of the body and only the body, the roles of the subject and the object areinseparable – “the body is what is being watched and at the same time it is whatchology developed new branches described as Gestalt psychology and Gestalt therapy (Kepner, 1991).

I have always claimed – and I think it’s still true – that the body is my tool, although I like more and more a quotation from Leśmian’s poem: “I’m praying for a piece of immortality of your body” – and the poem is about a touch. So on the one hand, it is a tool but on the other, a piece of myself. It’s difficult to express. When I grow old and start thinking what it will look like in time, I wonder what will be left of it. To what extent it is just matter and to what something more? More and more often it seems to me that it is something more. The illness certainly changed a lot. My parents didn’t tell me what condition I had. I found out after two months. I was a child and I didn’t understand that I was mutilated (I had had my leg amputated). I thought only about what I wouldn’t be able to do. Later I certainly started to treat it as something that I needed, this body of mine. Sometimes it says it needs me to take more care of it. Sometimes I need it to soothe myself, to cuddle up to myself, to be with myself. And sometimes this carnality and its limitations piss me off. The most important thing is that my body, regardless of age, regardless of everything that happens to it, is still my body. Which means that it is one of the two most important things of mine – the other is my mind. We show some pieces of our body, use it. In such situations I feel I bare the other part of my being which is usually covered. (“Gratitiude”, Długołęcka, Pieńko, 2018, pp. 19-20)
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