Chapter

Body

John Frow

in Character and Person

Published in print April 2014 | ISBN: 9780198704515
Published online May 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191775239 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704515.003.0008
Body

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The final chapter pulls the threads of the book’s argument together through an account of the structure of embodied selfhood. Beginning with a story by Thomas Mann which explores body/mind dualism, it picks up that topic in contemporary analytic philosophy (Parfit’s disembodied minds and Strawson’s meditation on embodied personhood). Bodies are at once material and fantasmatic, deeply informing the way we think the world through language and existing experientially as schemata that organize our socio-spatial relation to ourselves and others. The theoretical focus here is on the work of various cognitive and neuro-scientists (Clark, Gallagher, Damasio, Varela and others) and on feminist philosophers such as Gatens and Grosz. Finally, the argument is extended to cinematic bodies, looking at the way Blade Runner uses the figure of the replicant to problematize the relation between the embodied human and its simulation.

Keywords: Thomas Mann; embodiment; neuroscience; Blade Runner; Richard Powers; Damasio; Moira Gatens; Elizabeth Grosz

Chapter.  17778 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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