Event

Fundamental Concepts in Philosophy: BODY

Body Philosophy poster

The famous mind-body dualism of a Western-dominated modernity has a genealogy going back to classical times, but it was René Descartes who rendered the distinction between body and mind most clear and distinct. The common-sense categories we share in global modernity remain strongly dualist despite many challenges from philosophers, artists, historians, and theorists. The authority of modern biomedicine is partly to blame. How have the modern sciences, like medicine, carved up reality to preserve the centrality of “mind” while leaving “body” as its troubled and non-explicit Other? What varieties of body, or forms of embodiment, can we acknowledge and enjoy as global contemporaries?

About the speaker

Judith Farquhar photo

Judith Farquhar
Max Palevsky Professor Emerita of Anthropology, University of Chicago.

Farquhar has studied the history and practice of traditional Chinese medicine in modern China, and cultures of health and embodiment in both rural and urban China. Her most recent books include a philosophical reflection on Chinese medicine from Yale University Press: A Way of Life: Things, thought and action in Chinese medicine. And an ethnography co- authored with Lili Lai, Gathering Medicines: Nation and knowledge in China’s mountain south.

About the Moderator

Lai Lili photo

Lai Lili
2023-2024 Berggruen China Fellow, Associate Professor of Anthropology, School of Health Humanities, Peking University

Lai’s research interests include the body, everyday life, and medical practices. She has done extensive ethnographic and interdisciplinary research on health-related issues in rural and urban communities of Northern and Southwestern China. Dr. Lai’s monographs include Hygiene, Sociality and Culture in Contemporary Rural China: The Uncanny New Village (Amsterdam University Press, 2016), and Gathering Medicines: Nation and Knowledge in China's Mountain South, co-authored with Judith Farquhar (The University of Chicago Press, 2021). She received her MA and PhD in Anthropology from UNC-Chapel Hill.

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

About The Berggruen Institute

The Berggruen Institute’s mission is to develop foundational ideas and shape political, economic, and social institutions for the 21st century. Providing critical analysis using an outwardly expansive and purposeful network, we bring together some of the best minds and most authoritative voices from across cultural and political boundaries to explore fundamental questions of our time. Our objective is enduring impact on the progress and direction of societies around the world.