The belief that the mind and the body are separate and that the mind is the source of all meaning has been a part of Western culture for centuries. Both philosophers and scientists have questioned this dualism, but their efforts have rarely converged. Many philosophers continue to rely on disembodied models of human thought, while scientists tend to reduce the complex process of thinking to a merely physical phenomenon. In The Meaning of the Body , Mark Johnson continues his (...) pioneering work on the exciting connections between cognitive science, language, and meaning first begun in the classic Metaphors We Live By . Johnson uses recent research into infant psychology to show how the body generates meaning even before self-consciousness has fully developed. From there he turns to cognitive neuroscience to further explore the bodily origins of meaning, thought, and language and examines the many dimensions of meaning—including images, qualities, emotions, and metaphors—that are all rooted in the body’s physical encounters with the world. Drawing on the psychology of art and pragmatist philosophy, Johnson argues that all of these aspects of meaning-making are fundamentally aesthetic. Thus the arts are the culmination of human attempts to find meaning and studying the aesthetic dimensions of our experience is crucial to unlocking the bodily sources of meaning. Brilliantly synthesizing a broad range of scientific research and philosophical inquiry in clear and original writing, Mark Johnson’s The Meaning of the Body puts forth a bold new conception of the mind rooted in the understanding that philosophy will matter to nonphilosophers only if it is built on a visceral connection to the world. (shrink)
Who or what determines the right to die? Do advancing reproductive technologies change reproductive rights? What forces influence cultural standards of beauty? How do discipline, punishment, and torture reflect our attitudes about the human body? In this challenging new book, Jean Bethke Elshtain, a nationally recognized scholar in political science and philosophy, and J. Timothy Cloyd, a strong new voice in social and political science, have assembled a collection of thought-provoking essays on these issues written by some of the (...) finest minds of our day. (shrink)
Medicine, as Byron Good argues, reconstitutes thehuman body of our daily experience as a medical body,unfamiliar outside medicine. This reconstitution can be seen intwo ways: as a salutary reminder of the extent to which thereality even of the human body is constructed; and as anarena for what Stephen Toulmin distinguishes as theintersection of natural science and history, in which many ofphilosophy''s traditional questionsare given concrete and urgent form.This paper begins by examining a number of dualities between themedical body (...) and the body familiar in daily experience. Toulmin''s epistemological analysis of clinical medicine ascombining both universal and existential knowledge is thenconsidered. Their expression, in terms of attention,respectively, to natural science and to personal history, isexplored through the epistemological contrasts between themedical body and the familiar body, noting the traditionalphilosophical questions which they in turn illustrate. (shrink)
L'A. part d'une double question sur l'unicité de la figure de Socrate et sur le caractère utopique ou non de la cité idéale présentée par Platon dans «La République». Il étudie en particulier le livre V, qu'il analyse à travers les commentaires de Bruell et Dobbs . L'A. montre finalement l'influence du platonisme sur certaines conceptions chrétiennes, celle du corps chez Saint Augustin en particulier.
Of the nature and origin of the mind, by B. de Spinoza.--Spinoza and the theory of organism, by H. Jonas.--Man a machine, and The natural history of the soul, by J. O. de la Mettrie.--On the first ground of the distinction of regions in space, and What is orientation in thinking? by I. Kant.--Soul and body, by J. Dewey.--The philosophical concept of a human body, by D. C. Long.--Are persons bodies? By B. A. O. Williams.--Lived body, environment, and ego, (...) by M. Scheler.--Metaphysical journal, and A metaphysical diary, by G. Marcel.--The body, by J.-P. Sartre.--The spatiality of the lived body and motility, by M. Merleau-Ponty.--Anthropodology: man a-foot, by R. M. Griffith.--Man and his body, by H. Plügge.--The nobility of sight: a study in the phenomenology of the senses, by H. Jonas.--Born to see, bound to behold: reflections on the function of upright posture in the esthetic attitude, by E. W. Straus.--Selected reading (p. -367). (shrink)
Contemporary culture increasingly suffers from problems of attention, over-stimulation, and stress, and a variety of personal and social discontents generated by deceptive body images. This book argues that improved body consciousness can relieve these problems and enhance one's knowledge, performance, and pleasure. The body is our basic medium of perception and action, but focused attention to its feelings and movements has long been criticised as a damaging distraction that also ethically corrupts through self-absorption. In Body Consciousness, Richard Shusterman refutes such (...) charges by engaging the most influential twentieth-century somatic philosophers and incorporating insights from both Western and Asian disciplines of body-mind awareness. Rather than rehashing intractable ontological debates on the mind-body relation, Shusterman reorients study of this crucial nexus towards a more fruitful, pragmatic direction that reinforces important but neglected connections between philosophy of mind, ethics, politics, and the pervasive aesthetic dimensions of everyday life. (shrink)
The aim of this book is to understand what Deleuze and Guattari mean by "art." Stephen Zepke argues that art, in their account, is an ontological term and an ontological practice that results in a new understanding of aesthetics. For Deleuze and Guattari understanding what art "is" means understanding how it works, what it does, how it "becomes," and finally, how it lives. This book illuminates these philosophers' discussion of ontology from the viewpoint of art-and vice versa-in a thorough questioning (...) of aesthetic criteria as they are normally understood. (shrink)
Oliva Sabuco's New Philosophy of Human nature (1587) is an early modern philosophy of medicine that challenged the views of the successors to Aristotle, especially Galen and Ibn Sina (Avicenna). It also challenged the paradigm of the male as the epitome of the human and instead offers a gender-neutral philosophy of human nature. Now largely forgotten, it was widely read and influential amongst philosophers of medicine including DeClave, LePois, Harvey,Southey and others, particularly for its account of the (...) role of the nervous system and cerebrospinal fluid in mind-body interaction. In this article I trace its early influence by tracing provenance of the editions produced during the lifetime of its author. (shrink)
This review of John Russon's Human Experience: Philosophy, Neurosis, and the Elements of Everyday Life focuses on Russon's position that experience is open (having a developmental, situated and dynamic, rather than fixed, structure) and figured (having a structure inseparable from forms of bodily function), and that mind is something learned in the process of working out experience as figured and open. These themes are drawn together in relation to recent scientific discussions (e.g., of bodily dynamics, mirror neurons, robotic systems (...) and thermodynamics), to show how Russon's view challenges deep philosophical assumptions in prevailing accounts of mind, body and experience. (shrink)
I argue in this paper that philosophers have not clearly introduced the concept of a body in terms of which the problem of other minds and its solutions have been traditionally stated; that one can raise fatal objections to attempts to introduce this concept; and that the particular form of the problem of other minds which is stated in terms of the concept is confused and requires no solution. The concept of a "body" which may or may not be the (...) body of a person, which is required to state the traditional problem, is, on close examination, incoherent and cannot be introduced into a reasonable philosophical discussion. Also published in The Philosophy of the Body, Rejections of Cartesian Dualism, ed. Stuart F. Spicker. (shrink)
Descartes argued that the passions of the soul were immediately felt in the body, as the animal spirits, affected by the movement of the pineal gland, spread through the body. In Leibniz the effect of emotions in the body is a different question as he did not allow the direct interaction between the mind and the body, although maintaining a psychophysical parallelism between them. -/- In general, he avoids discussing emotions in bodily terms, saying that general inclinations, passions, pleasures and (...) pains belong only to the mind or to the soul (NE II, xxi, §72). He is also keen to point out that our passions derive mostly from our bodies. However, like Spinoza (Ethics III, prop. XI, Scholium) he thought that some emotions such as joy can produce pleasures which can be described also in bodily terms. For example, in a short memoir Felicity he says that music can be a pleasure for the ears and symmetry can be a pleasure for the eyes. These more intellectual emotions are actions in the sense that they represent perfection emanating from their source, the absolutely perfect being, that is, God. The feeling of perfection may produce a state of well-being which concerns both the soul and the body. -/- In my paper I will trace instances of Leibniz’s remarks on how these kind of emotions affect the body. I will also discuss the different ways the body gives rise to passions in the soul. My primary source is Nouveaux essais, book II, chapter xx and xxi, but I will also discuss various other writings by Leibniz. (shrink)
This timely collection brings together new discussions of the body from seven leading contributors with a wide variety of philosophical outlooks. The papers deal with the role of the body in the concept of the self, in perceptions, intention and action, in Artificial Intelligence, in thinking about sex and gender, and in psychoanalytical thinking. A collection of specially written articles discussing the wide variety of treatments of the body. Timely publication bringing together new discussions of the body from seven leading (...) contributors. Investigates the treatment of the body in the pioneering works of the phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the American Philosopher Samual Todes. (shrink)
To the question,“what is sports”, or what is a good sports activity or event, I am sure Plato would know what to say, using references to his philosophical division of man into three parts, namely: the appetite soul; the emotional soul and the reasonable soul. Plato would have said that sports comes from the human person and being, and so, for any particular sports to be accorded the accolade of goodness it must have the correspondence of the three constituent (...) parts of man’s true nature. The concept of the soul in Plato is what exploring just as that of Professor Maduabuchi Dukor’s expositions concerning the African philosophical concepts of soul, mind, spirit and body as they affect philosophy of sports and the discipline of physical education. The article will therefore analyze the link between Plato concept of the good sports, Professor Dukor’s ontological ideas about the African core values as they affect the balance, harmony and health both the mind and body of the human being. The central point here is the analytical framework of enquiry which Plato sustained in his Dialogues when he queries people:“what is this?”. By this he wants people to appreciate the fact that when they are in search of truth, they usually have the impression that they have all when, actually, they have only half-baked understanding of issues. It is important therefore to understand the issues involved in the disciplines of physical education, philosophy of sports, ethics and the ontological frame of African philosophy as profiled under Professor Dukor theistic humanism of African philosophy. Centrally, the dialectical link between Plato and Dukor will expose the ethical dimension to sports development since every thing is not wining and money or drugs should not be the ultimate motivation for sports and physical exercises. The exercise of sports should lead to the dual development and balance of both mind and body; the highest being the competition of the soul with itself and not with others in which laurels, gold or money is won or lost. The man who wins is the one, like in the communal spirit of the African ontology, who has conquered over his selfishness and sacrifices for the good of the community. (shrink)
Philosophical anthropology is concerned with assumptions about human nature, differential psychology with the empirical investigation of such belief systems. A questionnaire composed of 64 questions concerning brain and consciousness, free will, evolution, meaning of life, belief in God, and theodicy problem was used to gather data from 563 students of psychology at seven universities and from 233 students enrolled in philosophy or the natural sciences. Essential concepts were monism–dualism–complementarity, atheism–agnosticism–deism–theism, attitude toward transcendence–immanence, and self-ratings of religiosity and interest in (...) meaning of life. The response profiles (Menschenbild) of women and men, and of psychology students in the first and midterm of study were very similar. The method of statistical twins indicated a number of differences between students of psychology, philosophy, and the natural sciences. The majority of respondents were convinced that philosophical preconceptions on mind–body and free will have important practical implications for the way in which psychotherapists, physicians, or and judges exercise their professions. (shrink)
Because the young Socrates has presuppositions typical of a mathematician about the independence of the mind from the body, he has to be led to a fuller appreciation of the human soul, i.e., embodied intelligence, in order to understand statesmanship. The Eleatic Stranger thus tells a myth about an age where men age backwards, are born out of the earth, and are cared for by shepherd/gods. This affords the opportunity to think quite radically about how the body shapes the (...) soul and thus affects not only physical life, but also theoretical life and consequently both politics and philosophy. (shrink)
A ideia de beleza - e sua consequente fruição estética - variou conforme as transformações das sociedades humanas, no tempo. Durante a Idade Média, coexistiram diversas concepções de qual era o papel do corpo na hierarquia dos valores estéticos, tanto na Filosofia quanto na Arte. Nossa proposta é apresentar a estética do corpo medieval que alguns filósofos desenvolveram em seus tratados (particularmente Isidoro de Sevilha, Hildegarda de Bingen, João de Salisbury, Bernardo de Claraval e Tomás de Aquino), além de algumas (...) representações corporais nas imagens medievais (iluminuras e esculturas), e assim analisar o tema em três vertentes: a) o corpo como cárcere da alma, b) o corpo como instrumento, e c) o corpo como desregramento. The concept of beauty, and its consequent aesthetic enjoyment, has varied according the transformations of human societies over time. During the Middle Ages there were different conceptions, in both philosophy and art, of what the role of the body is in the hierarchy of aesthetic values. Our purpose is to present the aesthetic of the body that some medieval philosophers developed in their treatises (especially Isidore of Seville, Hildegard of Bingen, John of Salisbury, Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Aquinas), as well as some bodily representations of medieval images (illuminations and sculptures). We thus examine the issue in three ways: a) the body as a prison of the soul, b) the body as an instrument, and c) the body as degradation. (shrink)
One aspect of Richard Shusterman’s work is indicative of a broad movement to develop a robust philosophy of embodiment. Thinkers from diverse fields—such as feminism, pragmatism, and continental philosophy—have criticized Western philosophy’s suppression of embodiment and have gone on to suggest how the philosophy of the body can enrich our understanding of issues that arise within traditional fields such as ethics and aesthetics. Further, work in this area can provide novel insights into personal identity, gender, linguistics, and philosophy of mind. (...) Shusterman’s contribution to the field is somaesthetics, the critical and meliorative study of embodied experience that views the human body as a locus of .. (shrink)
This course covers paradigmatic accounts of human nature in ancient, medieval, and early modern philosophy, through a careful reading of selected primary texts and contemporary commentary. Major topics will include knowledge and opinion; body and soul; immortality, rationality, and freedom of the will; created being and goodness as emanations of divine perfection. The main focus of the discussions will be on the metaphysical foundations of moral value in the pre-modern tradition, and the conceptual changes shaking these metaphysical foundations with (...) the emergence of modern philosophy. (shrink)
In _The Meaning of the Body_, Mark Johnson continues his pioneering work on the exciting connections between cognitive science, language, and meaning first begun in the classic _Metaphors We Live By_. Johnson uses recent research into infant psychology to show how the body generates meaning even before self-consciousness has fully developed. From there he turns to cognitive neuroscience to further explore the bodily origins of meaning, thought, and language and examines the many dimensions of meaning—including images, qualities, emotions, and metaphors—that (...) are all rooted in the body’s physical encounters with the world. Drawing on the psychology of art and pragmatist philosophy, Johnson argues that all of these aspects of meaning-making are fundamentally aesthetic. He concludes that the arts are the culmination of human attempts to find meaning and that studying the aesthetic dimensions of our experience is crucial to unlocking meaning's bodily sources. Throughout, Johnson puts forth a bold new conception of the mind rooted in the understanding that philosophy will matter to nonphilosophers only if it is built on a visceral connection to the world. “Mark Johnson demonstrates that the aesthetic and emotional aspects of meaning are fundamental—central to conceptual meaning and reason, and that the arts show meaning-making in its fullest realization. If you were raised with the idea that art and emotion were external to ideas and reason, you must read this book. It grounds philosophy in our most visceral experience.”—George Lakoff, author of _Moral Politics_. (shrink)
Thinking through the body: educating for the humanities -- The body as background -- Self-knowledge and its discontents: from Socrates to somaesthetics -- Muscle memory and the somaesthetic pathologies of everyday life -- Somaesthetics in the philosophy classroom: a practical approach -- Somaesthetics and the limits of aesthetics -- Somaesthetics and Burke's sublime -- Pragmatism and cultural politics: from textualism to somaesthetics -- Body consciousness and performance -- Somaesthetics and architecture: a critical option -- Photography as performative process -- Asian (...) ars erotica and the question of sexual aesthetics -- Philosophy as awakened life : everyday aesthetics of embodiment in American transcendentalism and Japanese Zen practice -- Somatic style. (shrink)
The author emphasizes the fact that the largest part of Plato’s Timaeus deals with human nature and offers a detailed account of the constitution of the human body. He then lists the parallels and the differences between the constitution of the world body and the human body. The central part of the paper deals with Plato’s explanation of the persistence of the human body within a bodily environment which causes its dissolution. The author pays a special (...) attention to Plato’s theory of the apparatus which keeps running the processes of respiration, digestion and blood circulation. In the concluding section, the author raises thequestion of the relationship between human body and human soul. He shows that, in Plato’s Timaeus, the human body functions to a large extent independently from human soul. One possible reason for this theory is Plato’s conception of the immortal soul. While the human body exists in order to harbour the immortal soul, the latter does not produce and preserve it nor does it cause its dissolution. It only exercises cognitive and ruling functions in it as long as the body is able to hold together and to detain the soul. (shrink)
This paper considers what Fichte's conception of the human body as an instrument of perception entails for his radical principle of the primacy of practice. According to Fichte, perception is a function of what he calls the "articulation" of the human body, as opposed to its "organization." I first provide an interpretation of his theory of the human-bodily articulation by arguing that he construes it as a product of culture as well as nature. On this basis, I (...) go on to consider the theory's implications for perception: first, since our articulated body is the sphere of our free activity, it follows from its function as the instrument of perception that we always exercise some measure of control over what we perceive; second, because our articulated body is a product of culture, the way in which we perceive is conditioned by practical rules, precepts and laws that regulate our reciprocal interaction with nature and society. (shrink)
By means of a theoretical analysis from the point of view of phenomenology of the body, this essay tries to explain the views of Taizhou School on the body so as to apprehend the essence of Confucian thought, which is a philosophy that seeks to “establish oneself” and “cultivate oneself” rather than a “philosophy of consciousness.”.
A human being is the carrier of two different ideas, and there is no direct relation between them. One of these ideas refers to the body. The body itself is a system genetically coded and programmed in advance. On the other hand, one part of the body – the brain – appears to be the carrier of another idea that reflects the whole Universe – the Cosmos. Due to the function human (concretely, brain) is Microcosm, regarded as epitomizing (...) the universe. So human brain or widely to say, human itself is the carrier of the ideas of body parts, and essence-idea of whole body, as well as passive idea of whole cosmos. In a practical life of the human being only very little part of this cosmic idea is actualized and used. Untraditional reflections of this great potential as a result of unusual events beyond ofstandards are also possible. Then knowledge, information-ideas that a human being was ignorant and that were not acquired as a result of his sensual practice throughout his real life, may be activated and these cases are regarded as mystery and sensation. While all human beings possess this potential, capacity, we have not yet acquired well the mechanisms of activation of these passive ideas. Studying the ways of the activation of the passive ideas of our brain is one of the main tasks nowadays. (shrink)
The scope of existential anthropology -- How to do things with stones -- Knowledge of the body -- The migration of a name: Alexander in Africa -- The man who could turn into an elephant -- Custom and conflict in Sierra Leone: an essay on anarchy -- Migrant imaginaries: with Sewa Koroma in southeast London -- The stories that shadow us -- Foreign and familiar bodies: a phenomenological exploration of the human-technology interface -- The prose of suffering -- On (...) autonomy: an ethnographic and existential critique -- Where thought belongs: an anthropological critique of the project of philosophy -- Epilogue. (shrink)
Explores how the fragments of Heraclitus might yield an implicit understanding of the human body in distinction to the soul. In the history of scholarship on Heraclitus, soul is a much better understood concept, whereas it is normally assumed that Heraclitus, along with other figures of early Greek thought, shows only the most limited comprehension of the human being in terms of bodily form or substance. In this work I sketch some different ways in which Heraclitus’ accounts of (...) nature and human life can be said to exhibit a rudimentary picture of body. I suggest that Heraclitus depicts the human body as a special form of soul’s self-differentiation and logos. I attempt to consider how Heraclitus may represent an historical moment in understanding the human in terms of its physical makeup. (shrink)
In the 1950s and 60s, Martin Heidegger turned to sculpture to rethink the relationship between bodies and space and the role of art in our lives. In his texts on the subject—a catalog contribution for an Ernst Barlach exhibition, a speech at a gallery opening for Bernhard Heiliger, a lecture on bas-relief depictions of Athena, and a collaboration with Eduardo Chillida—he formulates his later aesthetic theory, a thinking of relationality. Against a traditional view of space as an empty container for (...) discrete bodies, these writings understand the body as already beyond itself in a world of relations and conceive of space as a material medium of relational contact. Sculpture shows us how we belong to the world, a world in the midst of a technological process of uprooting and homelessness. Heidegger suggests how we can still find room to dwell therein. Filled with illustrations of works that Heidegger encountered or considered, _Heidegger Among the Sculptors_ makes a singular contribution to the philosophy of sculpture. (shrink)
The irreducibility of language : the history of rhetoric in the age of typewriters -- The failures of empiricism : language, science, and the philosophical tradition -- What is a trope? : the discourse of metaphor and the language of the body -- The nervous systems of modern consciousness : metaphor, physiology, and mind -- Interpretation and life : outlines of an anthropology of knowledge.
From Immanuel Kant to Postmodernism, this volume provides an unparalleled student resource: a wide-ranging collection of the essential works of more than 50 seminal thinkers in modern European philosophy.
_Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade _explores the philosophical and practical issues raised by activities such as surrogacy and organ trafficking. Stephen Wilkinson asks what is it that makes some commercial uses of the body controversial, whether the arguments against commercial exploitation stand up, and whether legislation outlawing such practices is really justified. In Part One Wilkinson explains and analyses some of the notoriously slippery concepts used in the body commodification debate, including exploitation, harm (...) and consent. In Part Two he focuses on three controversial issues outlining contemporary regulation and investigating both the moral issues and the arguments for legal prohibition. (shrink)
Imaginary Bodies is a collection of essays that offer a sustained challenge to traditional philosophical notions of the body, sex and gender. Moira Gatens explores alternative positions to dualism by exploring psychoanalytic, Foucaultian and Spinozist notions of embodiment. The book traces a largely neglected geneaology of philosophers from Spinoza, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault and Deleuze and sets this tradition against that of the Enlightenment. What emerges are new ways of thinking those aspects of life which Gatens calls "imaginary." Confining herself to (...) neither philosophy of "the subject" nor an ahistorical philosophy of "the body" at the expense of broader ethical and socio-political issues, Gatens shows the many connections between theories of bodies politic and the (sexed) individual. She compellingly, lucidly, and trenchantly engages with the ethical, legal and sexual relations between men and women which are placed in its proper historical and political context. (shrink)
Ranging chronologically from the twelfth to the fifteenth century and thematically from Latin to vernacular literary modes, this book challenges standard assumptions about the musical cultures and philosophies of the European Middle Ages. Engaging a wide range of premodern texts and contexts, from the musicality of sodomy in twelfth-century polyphony to Chaucer's representation of pedagogical violence in the Prioress's Tale, from early Christian writings on the music of the body to the plainchant and poetry of Hildegard of Bingen, the author (...) argues that medieval music was quintessentially a practice of the flesh. The book reveals a medieval world in which erotic desire, sexual practice, torture, flagellation, and even death itself resonated with musical significance and meaning. In its insistence on music as an integral part of the material cultures of the Middle Ages, the book presents a revisionist account of an important aspect of premodern European civilization. (shrink)