Pragmatic Apparatus – Embodying Daoist Internal Arts: Walking the Line between the Reification and the Instrumental Use of Cognition

Cited by Lee Sonogan

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Abstract by Vittorio Giovine

Existing research into the body pedagogics of cultural practices emphasises tacit/pre-reflective/corporeal knowledge, yet the role of cognition requires further non-dualist/non-conflationist theoretical elaboration. This article contributes to this task through an ethnographic case study of Daoist Internal Arts (DIA) – eastern self-cultivation practices including neigong, qigong and tai chi. Daoist Internal Arts practitioners employ cognitive thought to facilitate a phenomenological shift from a Cartesian/dualist to a non-dualist mode of embodiment whereby mind and body are experienced in their ontological unity. Yet the effective use of thought in this process requires practitioners to walk a fine line between reifying cognition as a substance separate from corporeality, thus opposing mind and body, and utilising it as an instrument to address corporeality and foster mind–body unity. In underscoring this ambivalent character of cognition, I outline a sociological perspective of embodiment that avoids both dualist and conflationist accounts of cognitive and corporeal dimensions.

Publication: Sociology (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: Sep 29, 2021 Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/00380385211044319

Keywords: body pedagogics, cognition, conflationism, corporeality, Daoist Internal Arts, dualism, embodiment, mind–body relationship, phenomenology, reification

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00380385211044319 (Plenty more sections and references in this research article)

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