ZOLLIKON SEMINARS, 1959-1969
something which is internal, then this characterization only states the effect of the movement But nothing whatsoever is said yet about the kind of movement itself as a hand movement We specify this hand movement as a "gesture" [Gebärde]. Even when I place the watch on the table, I move within a gesture. And the hand? How does it belong to me? The hand belongs to my arm. Putting the watch away is not only a movement of the hand, but also of the arm, the shoulder. It is my movement. I moved myself.
During the break you were protesting that putting the watch on the table is a gesture, the same way that the movement of Dr. K's hand over his forehead supposedly expressed the fact that he was pondering something difficult. Thus, you see gesture as expression. But what were we asking about? We were asking about the kind of movement to which we were referring. Were we asking about the difference between the change of place of the watch in a spatial path and the movement of my hand? When I say that the movement of the hand is a gesture, this concept characterizes a kind of movement and should not to be taken as an expression of something else. To you, the word "gesture" is perhaps an arbitrary designation. But when you say "gesture" is an expression, are you then answering my question? No. The answer given by the term "expression" is already an interpretation and does not answer the question as to what kind of movement it is. "Expression" refers instead to something that is expressed by the movement of the hand. It refers, therefore, to something supposed to be behind it that causes it. The term "gesture" characterizes the movement as my bodily movement
Here I would like to make a few isolated remarks. One often hears the objection that there is something wrong with the distinction between a corporeal thing and a body. This is raised, for instance, because the French have no word whatsoever for the body, but only a term for a corporeal thing, namely, le corps. But what does this mean? It means that in this area the French are influenced only by the Latin corpus. This is to say that for them it is very difficult to see the real problem of the phenomenology of the body. The meaning of the Greek word σωμα is quite manifold. Homer uses the word merely for the dead body. For the living body, he uses the term δεμας, meaning "figure." Later on, σωμα refers to both the body and the lifeless, corporeal thing, then also to the serfs, to the slaves. Finally, it refers to the mass of all men. In Greek, σωμα has a much broader meaning than our present "somatic." In general, it