Re: Mind/Body dualism, What's the deal

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Thu Aug 16 2001 - 14:50:51 MDT

>From: "Helen Fowle" <>

>You're completely right Brian, a good book on the body since greek
>times has been written by Anthony Synott, called The Body Social,
>It charts various themes of the body like dualism, body as self,
>body as sin, body as machine and back again to body as self. The
>reason I didn't go back to the greeks in that message is because
>I'm looking more directly at the modern self in the context of new
>technologies, and furthermore related to both sexes. Although I'm
>not up on my greek and roman history, I believe much of the
>fascination in the body was male orientated, though there were
>obvious exceptions. I think female bodies have gone through more
>severe changes in conception than male bodies, particulrly in the
>15 to 18th century - even later, where the female body was seen as
>the site of transgression, evil sexuality, wondering wombs,
>temptation, witchlike and devious. Where as the male body has
>largely been seen as atheletic, strong, dominant....o.k. perhaps
>female bodies have also been seen as beautiful - usually by
>artists. But the medical profession have certainly given the
>female body a hard time. Anyway, the reason I chose to begin later
>than the greeks was because not till the last couple of centuries
>have both females and males ben able to enhance their appearance
>and bodily functions, and not since the last 40 or so years have
>they been able to do it through technology. (Give or take those
>who has the money to take potions and lotions before this)

I may have missed your previous posts, I receive the list as ASCII
text and your html laden posts are difficult to read without
conversion, unless something interesting catches my eye I don't
usually bother.

While women through the ages have been subject to the whims of men,
there were notable exceptions, including Hypatia. An interesting
idea for your paper might be the subject of female body builders.

>But yes, you're right and I think I may have to revise the
>historical part of my paper to include the greek body and the
>platonian mind. Thanks

I just wanted to point out that for many of us, the original idea
came from ancient texts rather than modern media.

>Is it obsessive to want to better yourself?

>I hate to say it but 'obsession' is a subjective idea, and one's
>man rationality is another man's irrationality!, but yes, perhaps
>obsession is the wrong word, maybe 'concern' of the body and mind
>would be a better phrase? What do you suggest?

Yes, we are very concerned, focused is also a good word.

Part of the problem is that we are not yet at the stage of
technology where the things we really need are available.
Being pragmatists, we need to focus on extending our current
lifespans and health for as long as possible. Our explorations to
date have yielded information on human health that is generally
more advanced than that possessed by many people.

It is widely considered for example that the human body needs 30
minutes a day of exercise as a minimum requirement to stay healthy.
How many people do you know that accomplish this?

Once you begin a program of exercise and begin to reap it's
benefits it's a simple extension to add a bit more for optimal
health. Many of us find from personnal experience that we think
better at this stage as well, plus we are less of a burden on an
overworked healthcare system. Naturally we share results/ideas with
the list.

The Ancients were right.


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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