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Introduction

Connor, Steven (2009) Introduction. In: Serres, M. and Sankey, M. and Cowley, P. (eds.) Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies. Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers. London, UK: Continuum Press. ISBN 9780826459848.

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Abstract

Book synopsis: Marginalized by the scientific age with its metaphysical and philosophical systems, the lessons of the senses have been overtaken by the dominance of language and the information revolution. Exploring the deleterious effects of the systematic downgrading of the senses in Western philosophy, Michel Serres — member of the Académie française and one of France’s leading philosophers — traces a topology of human perception. Writing against the Cartesian tradition and in praise of empiricism, he demonstrates repeatedly, and lyrically, the sterility of systems of knowledge divorced from bodily experience. The fragile empirical world, long resistant to our attempts to contain and catalogue it, is disappearing beneath the relentless accumulations of late capitalist society and information technology. Data has replaced sensory pleasure, we are less interested in the taste of a fine wine than in the description on the bottle’s label. What are we, and what do we really know, when we have forgotten that our senses can describe a taste more accurately than language ever could?

Item Type: Book Section
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > English and Humanities
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2011 11:54
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:17
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/1600

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