Phenomenology is a philosophical approach that studies the structure of consciousness and the experiences that arise from it. One of the key concepts in phenomenology is the “lived body.” In this article, we will explore what exactly the lived body is and how it relates to our experience of the world.

What is Phenomenology?

Phenomenology is a philosophical movement that was founded by Edmund Husserl in the early 20th century. It seeks to describe and analyze subjective experiences as they are perceived by individuals. Rather than studying objective reality, phenomenologists focus on how things appear to us in our conscious experience.

What is Lived Body?

The lived body, also known as the “body-subject,” refers to our embodied experience of the world. It includes both our physical bodies and our subjective experience of them. In other words, it’s not just about our bodies themselves but also how we feel about them and how they shape our experiences.

Embodied Perception

According to phenomenologists, perception is always embodied. We don’t just see things with our eyes; we also use our whole bodies to perceive them.

For example, if we see a tree in the distance, we might have a sense of its size and shape based on how it appears in relation to other objects around it. This embodied perception helps us make sense of the world around us.


Another key aspect of the lived body is intentionality. This refers to the fact that every experience we have is directed towards something. We don’t just have random sensations; rather, we perceive things with a specific purpose or goal in mind.

For example, if we’re hungry, we might perceive a sandwich as something delicious and satisfying. But if we’re feeling sick, that same sandwich might seem unappetizing or even disgusting. Our perceptions are always shaped by our bodily needs and desires.

The Lived Body and the World

The lived body is also closely connected to our experience of the world around us. It shapes how we interact with objects and other people, and it helps us navigate our environment in a meaningful way.

For example, if we’re walking through a crowded street, our bodies might tense up as we try to avoid bumping into others. Or if we’re playing a sport, our bodies might become fully immersed in the game as we try to score points.


In conclusion, the lived body is an important concept in phenomenology that helps us understand how our physical bodies shape our experience of the world around us. By studying embodied perception, intentionality, and the relationships between our bodies and the world, phenomenologists gain insight into what it means to be human and how we make sense of our lives.