Sitzen und Gehen. Zur Hermeneutik des Leibes in den fernöstlichen Künsten

Etica E Politica 13 (1):136-150 (2011)

Salvatore Giammusso
University of Naples Federico II
This article criticizes the classical paradigm of philosophical anthropology, which not only tried a scientifically based determination of human identity, but it also contained practical postulates and an implicit teleology. In my paper I argue that the anthropology in our liquid post-modernity should not idealize its status as “first philosophy”. Rather it should remain descriptive and critical. It is therefore urged a transition from a comparative theory of human identity – based on the animal or computer comparison – to a non-idealistic theory of identity. In this respect, the paper offers a contribution to an anthropology of Far Eastern Arts. It focuses mainly on two phenomena: the seated body in Zen Buddhism and the moving body in Taoism. These arts, I argue, have an educational value because they make discover a bodily and mental self-reference, which also means a reference to the other, a self-withdrawal. Through such an identification with the body, an awareness-based identity takes shape; an identity which is broader than Descartes’ concept of consciousness
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