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date: 25 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The objective of this chapter is to demonstrate the essential unity of body and mind in opposition to an enduring and distorting Cartesian dualism and distinction between mind and body. The senses are crucial to understandings of material culture, history, and more. The theoretical and methodological approach that incorporates this premise is sensiotics. Sensiotics is the study of the senses in the formation of material forms, persons, cultures, and histories, with a focus on bodily knowledge in the creative process as well as in reception by body-minds. Over the last two decades or more, there has been a transdisciplinary turn away from texts to bodies and the senses, owing in part to recent research on body-mind unities and interactions. Sensing is constitutive of cognition. Here I outline sensiotics and, from my work among Yorùbá-speaking peoples of West Africa, give examples of various multisensory experiences that constitute elements of a Yorùbá sensorium. This approach has important implications universally.

Keywords: sensiotics, senses, cognition, body-minds, bodily knowledge, somatic, phenomenology, subjectivity, mirror neurons

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