Intercorporeality: Giving Life from One Body to Another

Christina Schües*

*Corresponding author for this work


When a transplant is given to another person, the body material and its importance are at the centre of attention. Yet the meanings of the body, the body material, and the bodily relationship between the donor and recipient are unclear. This essay tackles the understanding of the body with regard to the practice of stem cell transplantation between siblings. The concept of intercorporeality embraces the “family body” and a singular body, the sense of bodily belonging and bodily ownership, and a relationship that inheres within a transplant. The intercorporeal relationship is basic and primary. Thematizing it may show a reality of body transformation that is more than just the distribution of body parts. It is a material approach to the human who has a body in the sense of a living substance that can be defined biotechnologically and made available. This essay shows that even though the transplant is body material, it is always more than that: a ground for personal traits, symbols, and a particular bond between the siblings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy and Medicine
Number of pages18
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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