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SAAP Annual Meeting 2018

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Porous Bodies and Deweyan Quality: Resisting Mechanism

Dewey is clear about the central role of felt quality in experience. However, in our philosophical discussions, we are often tempted to objectify the body or discuss as if it were a mechanical system—particularly when we take medical approaches of the body as a model for pragmatist aesthetics. This intellectual frame has consequences for aesthetic experience. This paper argues that we are best served by approaches that allow the body to be dynamic, porous, and social. How we frame our discussions of the body and whether or not we can conceive of the body as open and unbounded has dramatic consequences in a culture that is obsessed with categorizing bodies and with restricting access for bodies that do not fit easily into our expected frames. I will consider some problems in Mark Johnson’s account.

Bethany Henning
Southern Illinois University
United States


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