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Abstract

Interpretation has been a key theme in pragmatist aesthetics, but its centrality in neopragmatist thinking goes far beyond the field of art. Its influence extends into epistemology, ontology, and the philosophies of language, history, selfhood, and culture. Joseph Margolis devoted many articles and even an entire book to this topic, which he titled Interpretation Radical but Not Unruly. My critical examination of Margolis’s theory of interpretation shows how it is radical not only in terms of its robust relativism. It is also radical in the etymological sense of “radical” as “forming the root” of his philosophical thought in general. The logic of interpretation that Margolis developed for aesthetics is the original, generative source of his relativism, but its influence and relativist logic then extended ever more widely and deeply into his themes of anti-essentialism, historicism, and flux that pervade his metaphysics of culture and philosophical anthropology.

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
In: Contemporary Pragmatism
Embodied Perspectives in Philosophy, the Arts, and the Human Sciences
Series Editor:
This series aims to publish monographs and anthologies of new research in the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics. The field can be briefly defined as the critical study and meliorative cultivation of the soma as our medium of perceptual appreciation (aesthesis) and performance but also as the site of our expressive self-fashioning. Somaesthetics is, therefore, concerned with a wide diversity of knowledge forms, discourses, social practices and institutions, cultural traditions and values, and bodily disciplines that structure (or could improve) such somatic understanding and cultivation. It is not limited to one theoretical field, academic or professional vocabulary, cultural ideology, or particular set of bodily disciplines. Rather it aims to provide a more fruitful interaction and integration of the very diverse forms of somatic knowledge currently being practiced and pursued.
Initially the books would focus on the key disciplines and research areas from which somaesthetics emerged and in which it has been most actively researched. These are philosophy, aesthetics, cultural studies, art history, race and gender theory, performance studies (including dance and theatre), education, social theory, and human computer technology and gaming.

Forthcoming titles:
Future books will be on such subjects as:
Somaesthetics and Literature
Somaesthetics and Care
Somaesthetics and Sexuality
Somaesthetics and Education
Somaesthetics and Architecture
Somaesthetics and Sport
Somaesthetics and Biopolitics
Somaesthetics and Religious Practices

Book Proposals:
Please send book proposals to the series editor:
Richard Shusterman: shuster1@fau.edu

In: Exploding Aesthetics
This collection of essays explores the crucial connections between aesthetic experience and the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics, while further advancing inquiry in both. After the editor’s introduction and three articles examining philosophical accounts of embodiment and aesthetic experience in existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and pragmatism, the book’s nine remaining articles apply somaesthetic theory to the fine arts (including detailed studies of the body’s role in painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry, music, photography, and cinema) but also to diverse arts of living, considering such topics as cosmetics and sexual practice. These interdisciplinary, multicultural essays are written by a distinctively international group of experts, ranging from Asia (China and India) to Europe (Denmark, Finland, Hungary, and Italy) and the United States.
In: Bodies in the Streets: The Somaesthetics of City Life
In: Bodies in the Streets: The Somaesthetics of City Life
In: Bodies in the Streets: The Somaesthetics of City Life
In: Bodies in the Streets: The Somaesthetics of City Life