RE: Mind/Body dualism What's the deal?

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Thu Aug 16 2001 - 12:13:28 MDT

>Helen writes

>Perhaps I should mention that I'm writing a masters paper on
>attitudes to the modification of the body - grounded in the
>sociology of the body - hence why I'm trying to understand the
>various strains of thought regarding the body by those on this
>list. There is a definite obsession with the body in this
>particular discipline - something that I'm hoping to challenge in
>this paper - it seem to be based on modern to postmodern
>values of subjectivity versus objectivity, knowledge versus
>expression...and the like.It stems from Satre and even a Romantic
>notion that the body and self are a whole, and that happiness can
>be found by disciplining and shaping the body to an ideal of
>perfection - here the media comes in and does its stuff!

This notion is much older than this, I get it from the ancient
Greeks and their notion of "Vitruvian Man" later picked up by the
Romans and Leonardo De Vinci, and perhaps epitomized by
Michelangelo's David.

This is rooted in the idea that a sound mind in a sound body is
perhaps the most useful of combinations, and in fact support each

Sound wisdom in my book.

The Olympics being the current tip of this metaphorical iceberg
with professional sports in a close tie.

>Now the problem that I'm getting though is that extropians want to
>modify and enhance themselves through science and technology -
>their goal is immortality or at least longivity. Now this goal is
>based on being able to create/design a better body, one that
>does not have the fraility and limitations of the present
>biological one so aren't you just as obsessed with the body as
>those people who go down the gym everyday and bust a gut also
>trying to create the ideal body? So you're question below about
>strange ideas about the body doesn't make sense to me.

As a matter of fact I am in the gym 6 days a week pursuing the
ideas indicated above, but I also study 7 days a week as part of
the same program.

Enhancement falls right into this line, I'm convinced the ancient
Greeks/Romans would have engaged in it had they had the technology.

Extropians spend a great deal of time talking and thinking about
thinks other than themselves, since we want to live in a better
world or worlds, so I don't think obsessive fits.

Is it obsessive to want to better yourself?

>Of course it could all come down to self confidence and if one has
>a strong sense of identity - if you're particularly subject to
>others remarks and opinions of you, then of course you will be
>affected more than someone who has a definite sense of who they
>are...and more importantly who they want to be.

I think we have a definite sense of who we are and who/what we want
to be, but rather than just sitting around talking about it, we're
actively out trying to do something about it.


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

Disclosure notice: currently "plonked"
"Joe Dees" <>
"Party of Citizens"<>

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