The Philosopher 110 (4) (2022)
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In lieu of an abstract, an excerpt: "The idea of the life worth living is as old as human thought. Pick your tradition or epoch; whether it is characterized as religious, philosophical, ethnic, or cultural, one finds a constant: humans are in the business of distinguishing the good from the merely extant, the what-should-be from the what-is. A staggeringly wide swath of intellectual and religious traditions across the ages agrees on this point: organisms like us are not content with how we find ourselves in the world. We instead strive to refashion our surroundings, to make new worlds, and to dream of, even worship, what might be. Nonetheless, often we tightly tie the good, the desirable, and even the stakes of the divine to the state of our bodies: how our bodies are, how we work or fail to work upon them, and how they fit or misfit, to invoke Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s sense of the term. It is human to link worth with body and body with worth. To be sure, I do not mean 'body' in contradistinction to 'mind.' Put better, then: it is human, all too human, to link worth with bodymind."



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Joel Michael Reynolds
Georgetown University

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