2020-03Thematic Section
That Thou Art: Aesthetic Soul/Bodies and Self Interbeing in Buddhism, Phenomenology, and Pragmatism


The inheritance of dualism from Plato to Descartes, and since, has impoverished the human relation with nature, the world, other humans, and other species. The division of soul and body, and its counterpart of mind and body, gave us a world from which we believe ourselves to be separate from and superior to other species. This self-othering standpoint has had devastating consequences socially, politically, economically, and ecologically. This essay seeks to identify some resources in the Western tradition in phenomenology and pragmatism that avoid this standpoint and bring them into conversation with some primary insights of Buddhist philosophy: interdependent arising, the not-self, and interbeing. By doing so, it is not only suggested that comparative conversations are not only useful in their own right, but they add dimensions to our experience in the world. Moreover, they offer avenues for living enriched lives in concert with the world without engaging in self-deceptive mental and comforting psychological activities of who and what we really are.


experience, aisthēsis, interdependent arising, “that thou art” (tat tvam asi), cogito, aesthetic perception, body, soul, Dewey, Merleau-Ponty, Buddha, Descartes, Plato

How to cite:

Jones, David. “That Thou Art: Aesthetic Soul/Bodies and Self Interbeing in Buddhism, Phenomenology, and Pragmatism.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 3 (2020):  37-47. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0029.


David Jones
Department of Philosophy, Kennesaw State University
402 Bartow Ave, MD 2206, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144, USA


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