Techniques of the Body and Cultural Relations.

In the essay written by Mauss Marcel, “Techniques of the Body,” the author classifies different categories of body languages, movement, activities using the body, and even moves we usually take for granted unconsciously as corresponding techniques of the body. The author includes social influences, cultural and geographical influences, psychological influences, and biological influences to explain and support his claim of why there is no absolute nature movement of people and how people are used or asked to move differently to achieve same need and goal. In my opinion, to conclude and understand author’s stance in a different perspective, there are more reason and side effect of why techniques is plural. Movement is taught within systems and mind, the body is a reflection of the collective mind.

Firstly, to clarify the relationship between the techniques and manner, I have a different approach to solve this puzzle, since I don’t think manner should be considered as technique of body in the beginning stage. However, after aa certain accumulative reflection on the body, the thought came from the environment developed over time through individual’s body, which form into muscle memory and become body reflex. In this case, the movement become techniques in author’s identification. It is like the development of Chinese characters to the relationship of sign and symbol as Hegel states in “Lecture of Fine Arts.” In details, Chinese character is hieroglyphic language, meaning the character is formed by the visual imagery of the object it is describing. In the early stage of Chinese language development, the character is symbolic, however, as the system of the language collectively evolved, letters today became signs. People reads it and understand the meaning directly without conscious thinking process in mind. On the other hand, techniques is similar in this way, the only superficial difference would be it is the body thinking process and reflex. And I believed that it is same as social manner becoming techniques. Our surroundings and society expect us to act in certain way that indicate politeness or certain stereotype, we repeat the movement thinking it is a positive behavior and affect. Also, some are forced to do or they have to behave in a certain way because of pressure and future social benefit, and status or evaluation from the society.

In addition, the mention of squatting also arouses thoughts, such as the genetic reason of why Chinese people can squat (Asian squat). “The child normally squats. We no longer know how to.” The author put this as an example of age, however for me, this phenomenon of technique development can be interpreted as genetic and needs. In scientific study, Asian usually has longer Achilles that allows them to squat lower, which the position needs the legs and feet to do. Also, the classical toilet is designed so much more different than westerns. It is not traditional western toilet that you can sit on, it is a hole concaved on the floor that require you to squat down on the floor. The need of squatting down in order to solve daily physical need “trained” Chinese people this ability to squat, and that’s why squatting is more well-seen in China. Just like hunting and high-strength physical energy is not as demanded in modern society than ancient society since people earn a living in office sitting rather than hunting and protecting the family with physical ability. In this way, our techniques of the body changed and degraded because we don’t need it. Then, the body forget this code in the gene as we reproduce.

To challenge author’s opinion of there is no absolute natural technique, I’d like to bring up art and nature. Zero-degree art is a way human gains an intuition of something that is his own doing. It is considered cognitive impulsive behavior, and it is a feeling of need that make a kid throw a stone in the water. The kid wants to make an impact on something that he acts upon. It is showcasing human’s self-awareness and enjoyment of active effected responsibility of nature. In this way, the instinct act of discovering oneself to the nature can be considered as a nature technique, such as throwing a stone in the water in a forest.

To add another perspective of techniques of the body, most techniques is considered technique is because human identification of the system and organization. Every technique and movement are fact, but it can’t be knowledge. According to Kant, when the question of whether aesthetic is objective or subjective, and why people are drowned to say aesthetic is subjective can relate to the social body (body formed, permutated and combined under a fixed system). For example, swimming is a physical education that people identified and developed to invent a series of most efficient, amusing, and even perhaps dramatic movement in water to not only as a skill for surviving and moving in water, but also compete and watch. However, swimming can only be a fact but not knowledge. In the universal logic and what God possess, it is only existence of the “concept” of swimming. Similarly, coding language in Artificial intelligence also possess the fact of techniques of the body, which scientists coded into their “bodies.” Like human society, the education, history, culture, environment, and techniques taught based on those factors is the code put into our body. Therefore, our body is a reflection of a collective thought or mind.