The body has a mind of its own

Van Wyk, Juanita-Juliet (2017-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation explores the mind versus body dialectic of the Enlightenment period. My thesis draws attention to the tensions within Enlightenment ideology and the manner in which materialist philosophy surfaces as a consequence of an historical period at odds with itself in a variety of ways. It engages the fictional work of three eighteenth century writers: Jean-Jacques Casanova, Denis Diderot and Tobias E. Smollett. These writers show how the presence of the body is made manifest in a cultural context which favoured the intellect over the sensual drives. My discussion ventures to show that for these writers, the mind and body possess similar intellectual capacity. The body possesses an intelligence of its own and is capable of expressing that intelligence in a way that accentuates its innate knowledge and experience. In this way, these writers represent an Enlightenment trend that undercuts the distinction between the rational will and a subjacent, unruly body.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie dissertasie ondersoek die Verligtingstydperk se dialektiek van die intellek teenoor die liggaamlike. My tesis vestig die aandag op die spanninge binne die Verligtingsideologie en die wyse waarop ‘n historiese tyd wat op ‘n verskeidenheid maniere in stryd met homself was, die verskyning van ‘n materialistiese filosofie tot gevolg gehad het. Dit betrek die fiksie van die agtiende-eeuse skrywers naamlik Jean-Jacques Casanova, Denis Diderot en Tobias E. Smollett. Hierdie skrywers wys hoe menslike lyflikheid gemanifesteer word in ‘n kulturele konteks wat groter waarde heg aan die intellek as aan die sinnelike. My bespreking beoog om aan te toon hoedat liggaam en gees volgens hierdie skrywers gelyksoortige intellektuele kapasiteit besit. Menslike lyflike intelligensie is in staat om uitdrukking te gee aan hierdie ingebore kennis en ervaring. Op die manier, verteenwoordig hierdie skrywers ‘n aspek van die Verligting wat die onderskeiding tussen rasionele denke en onderliggende liggaamsdrange ondergawe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101218
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