Focusing on the reception of Maine de Biran by Alexis Bertrandin his thesis, L’aperception du corps humain par la conscience (1880), in order to demonstrate four issues. First, how the “corps propre” (one’s own body) becomes the pivot of a reorientation of spiritualism. Then, how neo-Biranism brings about a wide range of profoundly phenomenological issues, in particular relating to the image of the body, the primitive space or the engagement with the world and its epistemological and moral consequences. Then, how Biran’s philosophy leads to a critique of mechanistic epistemology, especially of the concept of reflex, which in turn enables a connection to be made between genesis of the concept of one’s own body and the history of physiology and vitalism. Lastly, how, in this context, Bertrand proposes an animistic metaphysics, aiming to reconcile his Biranism with the advances of science.