Analyzes how our culture defines our naturally-evolved bodies. The author explores forms of power, pleasure and pain, and libidinal identity. The book explains how we experience our bodies and illustrates how we make our bodies foreign to ourselves. It envisages the sort of bodies we may become. Lingis confronts European philosophers and psychoanalysts with Japanese and Melanesian practices.
Foreign Bodies analyzes how our culture elaborates for us the bodies we have by natural evolution. Calling on the new means contemporary thinkers have used to understand the body, Alphonso Lingis explores forms of power, pleasure and pain, and libidinal identity.The book contrasts the findings of theory with the practice of the body as formulated in quite different kinds of language--the language of plastic art (the artwork body builders make of themselves), biography, anthropology and literature. Lingis explains how we experience our own powers of perception, our postures, attitudes, gestures and purposive action; how our susceptibility to pain and excitability by pleasure acquiesce in and resist the ways they are identified and manipulated today; how cultures code our sensuality with phallic and with fluid identities; how others dress appeals to and puts demands on us.