The Self as Field: Overcoming the Binaries of Mental/Somatic, Autonomous/Conditioned, Individual/Collective, East/West

[Speaker] Kasulis, Thomas P:1
1:The Ohio State University (United States of America)

Yuasa Yasuo's The Body: Toward an Eastern Mind-body Theory (Japanese 1977, English 1987) brought into cross-cultural conversation Asian and Western philosophies, medical theories, and psychologies (both neurophysiological and Jungian). As a result, he characterized the self as an undivided, ever-developing bodymind complex that logically and ontologically precedes the split between body and mind. Expanding on Yuasa's approach, I will draw on ideas from Japanese philosophy, in both its traditional and western-influenced modern forms, to present a model of the self as an inter-responsive and proprioceptive "field." I will explain how that model may clarify some perplexities in our ordinary discourse about who we are. Are we culturally and environmentally conditioned or autonomously responsible in our behavior? Are we each unique and discrete or interrelational and interpersonal? Are our judgments intellectually logical or affectively intuitive? Are we fundamentally social or individualistic?
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