The Attentive Body: How the Indexicality of Epigenetic Processes Enriches Our Understanding of Embodied Subjectivity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Drawing on research in posthumanism, science and technology studies and biosemiotics, this essay analyses the challenges epigenetic processes pose for our understanding of embodied subjectivity. It uses the work of Charles Sanders Peirce to argue that epigenetic processes are indexical in their patterned logic, that they are meaning-making processes and that, consequently, they can be conceived as a form of attention. To conceive of bodies as paying attention through epigenetic processes is to rupture the distinction between matter and meaning that governs many philosophical categories. This in turn invites us to recalibrate our conception of the relationship between self, body and world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-34
Number of pages32
JournalBody and Society
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agamben
  • biopolitics
  • biosemiotics
  • enactivism
  • epigenetics
  • new materialisms
  • subjectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Cultural Studies

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