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Richard Shusterman

In responding to five symposium articles that discuss my book Thinking through the Body and my theories of somaesthetics and pragmatism, this essay elaborates two central methodological orientations that guide my philosophical research. The first is transactional experiential inquiry in which inquiry can develop new directions, aims, methods, and standards through the dynamic experiences acquired in the course of the inquiry’s pursuit and in which its transactional experiences involve research that transcends familiar disciplinary limits and conventions. The second principle involves mitigating problematic dualisms by a strategy of inclusive disjunction. I deploy these principles in replying to the five commentaries. Besides clarifying issues in somaesthetics, my reply focuses on such topics as everyday aesthetics, eroticism, architecture, dance, Chinese philosophy, meliorism, and pragmatism.

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Richard Shusterman

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Richard Shusterman

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Richard Shusterman

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Richard Shusterman

Responding to three articles in a symposium dedicated to my research in somaesthetics, this paper explores a variety of themes connecting my theories with classical Chinese philosophy. The symposium topics discussed here range from the ontology of body-mind and world to the ethics of somaesthetic self-cultivation, and then to the somaesthetic meanings of our practices of erotics and of eating. The paper shows how the pragmatist orientation of somaesthetics reconciles values of unity with those of difference and how key ideas of somaesthetics intersect, in different ways, with both Confucian and Daoist thought.