The Nature of a Man by Sylvester Stephens

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Sylvester Stephens
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Book review

In Nature, Man and Woman, philosopher Alan Watts reexamines humanity’s place in the natural world—and the relation between body and spirit—in the light of Chinese Taoism.  Western thought and culture have coalesced around a series of constructed ideas—that human beings stand separate from a nature that must be controlled; that the mind is somehow superior to the body; that all sexuality entails a seduction—that  in some way underlie our exploitation of the earth, our distrust of emotion, and our loneliness and reluctance to love. Here, Watts fundamentally challenges these assumptions, drawing on the precepts of Taoism to present an alternative vision of man and the universe—one in which the distinctions between self and other, spirit and matter give way to a more holistic way of seeing.


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