Grief and Phantom Limbs: A Phenomenological Comparison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


First-person accounts of bereavement often compare it to losing part of one’s own body. More specifically, the continuing presence of the deceased is sometimes said to be like a phantom limb. One might think that these are just metaphors or analogies that serve to convey the profundity of loss. However, this paper argues that the two types of experience can indeed be structurally similar, in a number of important ways. Another person, I argue, can come to shape how we experience and engage with our surroundings in a way that resembles the contribution of our own bodily capacities and dispositions. Furthermore, the boundaries between bodily and interpersonal experience are indistinct.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2019

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