The Body as Language

  • Terry Eagleton Lancaster University


"Bodies as material objects are not greatly in fashion in these dogmatically culturalist days. Even so, it is worth pointing out that whatever else human beings are, they are in the first place natural lumps of matter, and that anything more sexy or glamorous they can get up to can go on only within this constraining context. If men and women are more than just parcels of matter, it is not because they harbour within themselves a mysterious entity known as the mind or soul, but because they are parcels of matter of a highly specific kind - a specificity is, in fact, precisely what mind-language or soul-language is trying to account for."