Edited by James Mensch
Perhaps no question has so informed philosophy as that of the relation of our bodies to our consciousness. We are both extended and conscious: both a part of the material world and a place where that world comes to presence. As Hans Jonas remarked, “neither of the two descriptions can be carried to its end without trespass into the sphere of the other.” Yet, we cannot account for either without taking the other into account. We, thus, seem forced to admit, with Jonas, that “the organic body signifies the latent crisis of every known ontology and the criterion of any future one which will be able to come forward as a science.”
In the new series Body and Consciousness, we take as our aim the direct confrontation of this crisis. The question that will animate the series will be how our embodiment and consciousness affect each other. Their relation will be conceived as broadly as possible. It will involve such questions as:
- How does our embodiment influence our being in the world?
- What is its role in our social and political relations, in the ways in which we conceive public space?
- How does it affect our conceptions of the divine, including that of the Christian Incarnation?
- What is the role that the evolutionary development of our species plays in our cognitive awareness?
- Is it, for example, true, as Nietzsche says, that “the utility of preservation … stands as the motive behind the development of the organs of knowledge—they develop in such a way that their observation suffices for our preservation”?
- Or does such a statement undercut any possibility of our justifying it?
- How, in fact, can we admit the embodied nature of our cognition without relativizing its claims to our particular embodiment?
With Body and Consciousness, we invite all authors interested in such issues to submit their monographs to us. Both works of scholarship devoted to particular authors and work that focuses on delineating a particular line of reasoning in response to a question are welcome. Phenomenological accounts devoted to a particular issue—such as intersubjective, interspecies recognition—are also acceptable. To achieve as wide a readership as possible, we would ask only that all submitted manuscripts be clearly written and reasoned and avoid technical language as far as possible. We would also prefer texts that are not just informed by the relevant figures of the historical canon, but also advance the line of their arguments.
Manuscript submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org