chapter  1
26 Pages

Theoretical Models: Somaesthetics and Arte Nuevo

In the late 1990s, American pragmatist philosopher Richard Shusterman founded a new philosophical discipline that aimed at the cultivation of the body: “somaesthetics,” which offers an understanding of the relationship between mind and body. Shusterman denes the body as “the soma that is both an object in the world and a subject that perceives the world including its own bodily form” (“Body and the Arts” 2). He explains:

The term ‘soma’ indicates a living, feeling, sentient body rather than a mere physical body that could be devoid of life and sensation, while the ‘aesthetic’ in somaesthetics has the dual role of emphasizing the soma’s perceptual role (whose embodied intentionality contradicts the body/ mind dichotomy) and its aesthetic uses both in stylizing one’s self and in appreciating the aesthetic qualities of other selves and things.