Psychophysical what? What would it mean to say ‘there is no “body” … there is no “mind”’ in dance practice?

Date

2018-04-19

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1464-7893

Volume Title

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

There have been numerous attempts to solve the apparent dualism of ‘body’ and ‘mind’, purportedly uniting mutually incompatible binaries through hyphenation, the creation of compound terms, or the erasure of one of the terms entirely. ‘Psychophysical’, ‘psychosomatic’ (with or without the word ‘unity’), ‘mind-body’, ‘body-mind’, and, following Hanna (1970), ‘somatic’, have all been advanced as a means of articulating an undivided sense of human being. This discussion deconstructs this descriptive matrix in an attempt to expose the naked paradox of human being obscured by tacit assumptions hidden in language. In dance the idea of ‘body’ is often afforded priority. Dancers understanding of themselves in activity, whether performing or observing – in the fields of learning, creating or rehearsing – is critically affected by their conception of themselves as divided or unified beings. To say, ‘there is no “body” … or “mind”’ might facilitate a more productive, poietic sense of practice, a ‘thinking in activity’ that does not imply a dualistic ontology. This requires a practical philosophical perspective. Such ‘philosophical practicality’ in dancers’ practice may afford them greater resilience for their future careers against the fragmentation of dis-unity that thinking of ‘body’ or ‘mind’ engenders.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Aristotle, dancer, Heidegger, mind-body problem, psychophysical, soul

Citation

Leach, M. (2018) Psychophysical what? What would it mean to say ‘there is no “body” … there is no “mind”’ in dance practice? Research in Dance Education, 19 (2), pp. 113-127

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies