Bodies of Thought: Embodiment, Identity and Modernity by Ian Burkitt

By Ian Burkitt

During this incisive and really notable e-book, Ian Burkitt seriously addresses the dualism among brain and physique, notion and emotion, rationality and irrationality, and the psychological and the cloth, which hang-out the post-Cartesian world.

Drawing at the paintings of up to date social theorists and feminist writers, he argues that proposal and the feel of being someone is inseparable from physically practices inside of social relatives, although such energetic event will be abstracted and elevated upon by using symbols. Overcoming vintage dualisms in social suggestion, Burkitt argues that our bodies usually are not only the constructs of discourses of strength: also they are efficient, communicative, and invested with strong capacities for chang

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Extra resources for Bodies of Thought: Embodiment, Identity and Modernity

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Instinct and other genetically transmitted forms of behaviour were therefore proving insufficient to guarantee survival, so alongside the gene other modes of transmission began to develop. These do not act against the gene and instinctual behaviour, but complement genetic functions, reshaping them and taking them over. Following Dawkins (1989), Smith labels the new route of transmission the meme', a single unit of cultural transmission that can replicate itself under proper conditions. However, despite the fact that Smith believes the concept of the meme to be useful for breaking the monolithic image of culture, fragmenting it into its smaller units or replicators, there are problems with Dawkins's sociobiological version of the development of culture.

The Emergence of Culture: 'Merries' or Artifacts? In his critique of the Nietzschean/Foucaultian fictions of emergence, Smith (1994) wants to set aside any reliance on the notion of a single violent drama constantly replayed through history, replacing it with a version of emergence based on the work of the biologist, Richard Dawkins (1989). Smith believes that this allows him to re-establish the multiplicity of emergence contained in the original idea of genealogy, as well as a view of the emergence of culture and knowledge that rests on the concept of transmission rather than violent domination and division.

Like Nietzsche, Foucault wants to use a genealogical method where what is found at any point of emergence is the disparity of things, rather than a single unified origin. Genealogy therefore traces the roots of all seemingly unified identities or relations back to the differences and dissonances from which they emerged. Foucault says that genealogy is not the history of the growth or evolution of a thing, but of 'an unstable assemblage of faults, fissures, and heterogeneous layers that threaten the fragile interior from within or from underneath' (Foucault, 1986b: 82).

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