2021-04Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews
Somaesthetics and the Cross-Cultural Dressing of Desire


/Commentary: Richard Shusterman, Ars Erotica: Sex and Somaesthetics in the Classical Arts of Love (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), 436 pages./

Somaesthetics, the field cultivated by Richard Shusterman since 1997, bore another juicy fruit for our enjoyment. This time, his interdisciplinary research – integrating the theoretical, empirical, and practical disciplines related to bodily perception, presentation, and performance – resulted in an excellent cross-cultural study of the classical arts of love developed over centuries in such traditions as the Greco-Roman, Chinese, Indian, Muslim, Medieval and European Renaissance. Somaesthetic methodology provides fertile ground for such a comparative inquiry by encouraging new ways to understand the cultural dimension of human sexuality. It complements the popular 4EC perspectives applied in cognitive science which explore cognition as embodied, embedded, enactive, and expanded: emphasizing our bodily interaction with the physical and social environment. Shusterman’s analysis of the classical arts of love as aesthetically refining sexual experience gives due acknowledgement to our somatic and sensual, but also emotional and imagery engagement in the world, commonly neglected in modern philosophy.

How to cite:

Jakubczak, Marzenna. “Somaesthetics and the Cross-Cultural Dressing of Desire.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 5, no. 4 (2021):  123-128. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2021.0043.


Marzenna Jakubczak
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Pedagogical University of Krakow
ul. Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków, Poland

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