Philosophy of the Body as Introduction to Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy 36 (4):353-372 (2013)

Abstract

This essay argues that a course in philosophy of the body can be used to introduce students to philosophical investigation. The course includes a theoretical component that draws on classical and contemporary readings in philosophy of the body. It also includes a practical component that allows students to learn how concepts drawn from the literature are embodied in studio practice and in everyday life. Learning basic movement strategies of tai chi and body -mind centering allows students to enact their own phenomenological investigation and encourages them to consider the manner in which the medical sciences and cultural values shape their appreciation and performance of movement. Further, engaging in these practices raises philosophical issues including the relationship between the body and the self, freedom and determinism, and the correspondence and pragmatic conceptions of truth

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