What is a body intellectual?

_DSC2261by Phil Porter
an excerpt from his book The Slightly Mad Rantings of a Body Intellectual Part One

The difference between your run-of-the-mill intellectual and a body intellectual is the difference of perspective. It demands a personal voice, not a disembodied one, a voice that can come from the left hand or the hips or the heart. It makes no claims to objectivity, but wallows instead in the subjective.

In normal discourse we often use the idea of subjectivity dismissively. It’s meaning is something like, “oh, that’s your opinion (and I don’t think it’s true)” or “oh, that’s your opinion (and aren’t you being a bit emotional about all this?).” But in fact, none of us can speak other than subjectively. We are always rooted in our own particular experience, our culture, our beliefs, our values.

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2 Responses to What is a body intellectual?

  1. pwll says:

    This is very important to understand — especially for children who are being judged for this and that — schoolwork, etc. I worked with a boy today who had been given a C+ for a poem he’d written. I liked the poem. We talked about subjectivity and not taking individual judgment too seriously.

  2. EXACTLY. And it is so powerful for elders to share this wisdom with younger generations who may not know about this other kind of “knowing.”

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