Touch: Recovering Our Most Vital Sense
Our existence is increasingly lived at a distance. As we move from flesh to image, we are in danger of losing touch with each other and ourselves. How can we combine the physical with the virtual, our embodied experience with our global connectivity? How can we come back to our senses?
Richard Kearney offers a timely call for the cultivation of the basic human need to touch and be touched. He argues that touch is our most primordial sense, foundational to our individual and common selves. Kearney explores the role of touch, from ancient wisdom traditions to modern therapies. He demonstrates that a fundamental aspect of touch is interdependence, its inherently reciprocal nature, which offers a crucial corrective to our fixation with control. Making the case for the complementarity of touch and technology, this book is a passionate plea to recover a tangible sense of community and the joys of life with others.
Richard Kearney holds the Charles Seelig Chair of Philosophy at Boston College. He is director of the Guestbook Project for creative peace pedagogy and he has written many books on the philosophy of imagination and embodiment, translated into over a dozen languages. His previous Columbia University Press books include Anatheism: Returning to God After God (2009) and Reimagining the Sacred (2016).