ABSTRACT

To conceive of knowledge as a practice challenges the legacy of western dualism, in which rationality is seen as abstract, ‘interior, merely ideas’, and is set above and against sensual, embodied understanding. This self-same logic underpins other key oppositions which enable the conceit of a disembodied, universal episteme to flourish: form over matter, masculine over feminine and, significantly, word over flesh. Structurally, such binary oppositions marginalise aesthetics by implying that knowledges gained through the fleshly senses are secondary to, and even possibly in need of ‘correction’ by, those articulated by the disembodied, rational word.