Feeding and relationship to the body in modern societies

This series of articles studies feeding and its disorders in relation to the relationship to the body in modern societies. Obesity, anorexia, Oceanian cultural memes on the body, notion of Somma and model of the psyche to position the image of the body.

In the 1st article, let’s start by filling up food. Before asking ourselves questions about how we modulate the case (explicit feeding), let’s check that the full is done (implicit feeding). The deviations of the explicit look are pathologies of the plethora. In Western societies, there is mostly no difficulty in finding one’s food, to the point that deviances from implicit feeding appear. The body itself becomes a pantry. In the end, body image disorders are at the crossroads of explicit and implicit looks, which are essential to study separately.

The 2nd article, too heavy and too light, tells the battle of weight. The out-of-the-ordinary are in trouble with body image. More precisely, theirs is in conflict with the one that society wants to attribute to them. I explain the problem of the obese by an excessive dominance of the implicit look, that of the anorexic by the dominance of the explicit look. In both cases the body image is shifted.

In the 3rd article, soma, I develop the implicit, ontological look at the formation of the body image from its physical support. “Is there a brain?” is the provocative question. Is the brain a large ganglion specialized in the treatment of all neurological exchanges or an organ in its own right? The ascending ontology can support the first hypothesis. But this ganglion is educated to form a space of consciousness endowed with relative independence, from which the teleological gaze will descend, capable of reshaping the body. At the border between the two poles is the notion of Somma.

In the 4th article, immiscible memes, the Oceanic culture of the ample body is associated with an original model of the psyche to explain the difficulty of changing one’s diet. Polynesian and Western memes belong to different mental circles. Their incompatibility leads to surgery. Somma, which has become essentially psychological, has been filled with pseudo-realistic representations. Should we put on the couch cultures that convey neurotic memes?

Finally the 5th article is an epistemological conclusion drawn from the previous ones. I argue that ontological and teleological views are contradictory in nature, and that this nature results from the opposite position of their starting point in the complex dimension. Ontological and teleological causalities are not competing but consecutive. Metaphor of the swimmer-consciousness.

An appendix, definition of Somma, targets my most erudite readers. It takes up the history of the image of the body as seen by neurologists and psychologists, with attempts at reconciliation by Wallon, Schilder, Lhermitte, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty. I articulate their work with the theory developed in this dossier. My notion of somma seen by the teleological look is the specular image of psychoanalysts. Seen through the ontological look, it is the soma of Thomas Hanna, founder of somatics, an unfortunately fragile reference because it is based on physical techniques rather than a theory.


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