Thinking About the Body
Kass, Leon R.
Hastings Center Report. 1985 Feb; 15(1): 20-30.
The relation between a human being and his body is a complicated question made more problematic by new technologies. Kass ponders the "mind-body problem" in its many aspects. He discusses the body in speech and experience, examines its unitary and bipolar properties, and comments on the results of upright posture and on the body as a source of both pride and humility. He considers the nature of human dignity and the development of sociability and culture. In comparing cultures based on their treatment of the dead, he finds that "hyperrational" societies demonstrate the least respect for both living and dead bodies. He concludes that modern scientific man is losing his respect for the meaning of life by his insistence on achieving autonomy through biomedical technologies. (KIE abstract)
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