Do I know myself through and through? Is there a clear distinction between myself and the other? Or am I always somewhat of a stranger to myself, while the other is strangely familiar? During the podcast, Femke van Hout  address these questions from the perspective of the philosophy of the body. In sixty minutes, she will discuss four thinkers and artists who challenge the Cartesian division between soul and body, self and other, inside and outside, familiar and strange. Are we not always a bit foreign to ourselves? And what would be the political and ethical consequences of this inherent strangeness within us?

Femke van Hout gave a lecture for the Sixty Minutes Back to the Future ‘What a Strange Self’. This lecture was part of Future Based’s ‘Sixty minutes back to the Future’ series, a new online and ongoing programme, in which we reflect on the bottlenecks and challenges of today’s society, and contemporary issues that have already been addressed by numerous philosophers, artists and scientists: What can we learn about the future by looking at history?


00:00:00 Introduction Femke and concept of Sixty Minutes Back to the Future / 00:04:00 Introduction topics discussed / 00:06:30 Jean-Luc Nancy and his essay ‘What a strange Self’ / 00:07:00 Illness, intrusion and strangeness from the inside / 00:13:00 I am bodily change / 00:16:00 Decartes and the res extensa / 00:19:00 Cartesianism in modern society / 00:23:00 the division of inside and outside the mind/ 00:25:00 Helmut Plessner and changing boundaries / 00:29:00 Leib and Korper: the body as a thing and that you are / 00:33:00 Balance of the body / 00:36:00 Reflective beings / 00:38:00 You can never be fully known / 00:39:00 Slatman and responding to scar after breast surgery / 00:43:00 Strangeness and familiarity / 00:45:00 Claire Denis: The Intruder / 00:49:00 The Intruder: Boarders of the self and ethical implications/ 00:55:00 Conclusions


00:19:00 Julien Offray de La Mettrie / 00:20:45 Dick Swaab Wij zijn ons Brein / 00:39:00 Jenny Slatman and Phenomenology of Bodily Integrity in Disfiguring Breast Cancer


The Intruder – a film by Claire Denis

Suggestions for further reading:

Link to Google Drive document.