Some speculations on matters of touch

J Med Philos. 2001 Aug;26(4):387-404. doi: 10.1076/jmep.26.4.387.3007.


In this essay, I examine the question of whether it is possible that the encounter with the other could be mediated such that the interval of distance would lose its determining power. I reflect on some instances of extraordinary corporeality, most particularly the phenomenon of conjoined twins, in order to problematize the relation between subjects as they are embodied. Where the normative body is supposedly marked out by the closed boundaries of the skin, the figuration of the anomalous body as potentially leaky and contaminatory positions it as being of prime concern to both medical and cultural discourse. Within those paradigms there are of course many pressing bioethical issues to debate, but my intention is to draw back from a problem-based scenario in order to consider the threshold of ethics in the self/other relation itself.

MeSH terms

  • Bioethics*
  • Female
  • Feminism
  • Human Body*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metaphysics
  • Touch*
  • Twins, Conjoined*