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Body Transformations: Evolutions and Atavisms in Culture [Anglais] [Relié]

Alphonso Lingis

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First published in 2005. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Biographie de l'auteur

Alphonso Lingis is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. He has published several books and contributed essays to numerous volumes and journals.

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  1 commentaire
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Easy and Thought Provoking Body Philosophy on a Global Level - With Some Obsolete Oddness 18 août 2008
Par Bonam Pak - Publié sur Amazon.com
I read the original 2005 paperback. This thin book of less than 140 regular text pages and 11 unusual black and white pictures of naked and semi-naked people from around the world offers a pleasurably relaxing reading. Which can't be taken for granted in philosophy books, including some of Alphonso Lingis' earlier works.

"Body Transformations" circles around the human body, touching upon sexual selection, body illusions, body initiation and detachments, apotemnophilia (the fetish of voluntary limb amputation) and pig organs for human transplantation. Lingis wonders about portrait paintings leaving out body parts, male anglerfish growing onto females, losing their eyesight in the process and about the women who offered money to receive the sperm of the 5,300-year-old Italian glacier mummy Ötzi.

Lingis goes private and global. He writes in the first person singular, however, I am not sure, when, if ever, this "I"-form really matches his personal reality. He seems to project his thoughts onto the realities of whomever he is musing about. Including the many references and quotes of philosophers and similar thinkers, such as Heidegger, Kant, Nietzsche, Marx and most of all Freud. It doesn't always become clear, wether he really agrees with the direct quotes and carried forward thought processes as if by these famous thinkers. The reader may sure get the impression. And some of those statements are blatantly ridiculous. Such as on referencing Immanuel Kant: "In fact, Africa could not properly be said to have religion: it only had belief in magic." This is about (the original meaning of) fetishism and clearly not overstood. Besides the fetishism of some parts of Africa and other African branches of religion, I may add that all so-called world religions are derived from ancient Egypt. Read for example The Africans Who Wrote the Bible and the books by Muata Ashby, such as egypt and india the african origins of yoga, hinduism, vedanta, buddhism and dharma of india and The Mystical Journey from Jesus to Christ. Also consider that in Ethiopia Judaism, Christianity and Islam were freely engaged in earlier than in the very most other parts of the world. Sigmund Freud has become an even worse choice to quote ideas from. He was an important step in psychoanalysis. In the meantime his reputation of authority far exceeds more recent expertise. I find it strange that Lingis didn't find it funny to write in 2005 in reference to Freud that "Some people, traumatized by the sight of female castration, [i.e. not featuring a penis] become homosexual." The most strange part is that I don't think that Lingis is particularly homophobic as he seems to integrate a lot of homoerotic imagery and content in many of his books, including a bit in this book.

But then again, not to leave a false impression, generally Lingis isn't what I would describe as conservative. In fact, more statements will be disliked by conservatives than other readers. Such as this gem: "Soldiers are limbs connected to weapons and disconnected from brain and imagination."
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