JCLA: Interview with Richard Shusterman

On July 3, 2019, Yanping Gao conversed with Richard Shusterman, and that interview is printed in the Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (JCLA) VOl. 43, No. 1, 2020. This conversation took place in Beijing following Richard Shusterman’s lecture to the Philosophy Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

One of the key themes of that book, Act and Affect, is to highlight that feeling is essential to action but also to thinking. Pragmatism is usually understood as a philosophy of action; the very term pragmatism derives from the Greek word for action. Critics of pragmatism often argue that it is too narrowly practical and focused on action, ignoring other important aspects of human existence. My book demonstrates how pragmatism can also be understood as a philosophy of feeling. It shows how the major pragmatist philosophers insist on the importance of feeling as the motor of action, as a crucial factor for structuring perception and thought, and as a key tool for ethical progress to a more caring and democratic society.

Richard Shusterman, from the interview, page 230.

From the above quote, the conversation moves into talk about somaesthetics, philosophy in east and west, Feldenkrais method of exercise, and physical disability.

Read the full interview with Richard Shusterman HERE.

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