In this incisive and truly impressive book, Ian Burkitt critically addresses the dualism between mind and body, thought and emotion, rationality and irrationality, and the mental and the material, which haunt the post-Cartesian world. Drawing on the work of contemporary social theorists and feminist writers, he argues that thought and the sense of being a person is inseparable from bodily practices within social relations, even though such active experience may be abstracted and expanded upon through the use of symbols. Overcoming classic dualisms in social thought, Burkitt argues that bodies are not purely the constructs of discourses of power: they are also productive, communicative, and invested with powerful capacities for chang

Conclusion: Relations and the Embodied Person

Conclusion: Relations and the Embodied Person

Conclusion: Relations and the embodied person

One of the central themes of this book is that there is no such thing as the ‘mind’ considered as something separate from the body and its spatiotemporally located practices. The mind is an effect of bodily action and also of becoming a person within the diverse networks of social relations. Embodied persons become identified within their relations to others and also within relations to the non-human world. The sense of personhood we possess is at least partly based on the feel we have of our own bodies, as much as in the symbols which define our unique social identity. As I suggested in the introduction, paraphrasing Whitman, if the body is not the ...

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