Somaesthetics in Context

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After defining somaesthetics and explaining the terms of its definition, this paper distinguishes between somaesthetics and other somatic disciplines concerned with improving the quality of our movement. The paper then outlines the roots of somaesthetics in pragmatist philosophy and the philosophical idea of the holistic art of living that combines cognitive, aesthetic, and ethical concerns. The next section discusses the three branches of somaesthetics and its three dimensions while also mapping their interrelations. After a section that contextualizes somaesthetics in relation to affect theory and cognitive science and that briefly notes some of its many interdisciplinary applications, the paper concludes with a discussion of the somaesthetic approach to the issue of norms and values in somatic experience, inquiry, and practice.

The author (shuster1@fau.edu) is with Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA.

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