Vol. 16 No. 1 (2023): Going Virtual – But How? Mapping Virtualities in Contemporary Technoculture

Intercorporeality in virtuality: the encounter with a phantom other

Ariela Battán Horenstein
Instituto de Humanidades-CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
María Clara Garavito
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Veronica Cohen
University of Buenos Aires

Published 2023-07-22


  • phantom limb,
  • quasi-presence,
  • lived body,
  • virtuality,
  • intercorporeality

How to Cite

Battán Horenstein, A., Garavito, M. C., & Cohen, V. (2023). Intercorporeality in virtuality: the encounter with a phantom other. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 16(1), 73–83. https://doi.org/10.36253/Aisthesis-14362


We use phenomenology to reflect on the experience of being with others as mediated by screens through videoconferencing platforms, a phenomenon accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and social isolation measures. We explore two directions to explain the intersubjective experience of a videoconference. One direction introduces a conceptual background based on previous contributions in phenomenology, while the other one is more speculative: we introduce the novel idea of a phantom other. First, we understand this phenomenon either as a correlate of image consciousness or as a paradoxical perception. Then, we introduce the phantom other using ideas offered in phenomenological descriptions in which the phantom limb appears as a quasi-presence. The phantom other is the same flesh and blood body with whom I co-constitute senses of the world. In a videoconference, the other appears as a whole body with which I coordinate, although she appears as a phantom other.


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