Living with uncertainty.

Since the breakthrough of covid19 and the world has been upside down. Everywhere people tried to improvise and to adapt; proving that living is a permanent improvisation.

But why do we find it difficult to adapt to unexpected and unplanned events? Who/what is to blame for this anxiety?

Life is lived daily with many small improvisations that are not perceived as a big deal. Until a big event takes place like falling in love, the death of a dear one, speaking in public etc. These events show us how unprepared we are.

So, improvisation is simultaneously the most natural and the most frightening act. It is so because we have been trained for centuries to think and act rationally. This is the reason why we are afraid of sudden changes. Where to fit them in our well organized lives?

Perhaps, improvisation needs less rationality and more courage and self-confidence. I would definitely pick Jack Kerouac over Rene Descartes.

The body in philosophy

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Philosophy is mainly linked to existential questions, abstract concepts and metaphysical issues. However, many philosophers (maybe all of them) mentioned, studied and conceptualized the body. Some did it in an attempt to understand the cause behind the being just like the pre-Socratic did by studying nature, the physis; others focused more on the human body.

The body as a philosophical concept is underrated and it deserves our attention to comprehend life, energy and fitness! While the latter is never linked to philosophy, philosophers talked about it in between the lines.

In a round up of this subject, the principal problematic that always emerges about the body is its relation to the mind that you can check in my posts:

The mind body connection (part I) The mind body connection II The mind body connection III The mind body connection IV

On a more personal note, Spinoza and Descartes, although adversaries, taught me how to workout and you can check my posts on both of them:

What Spinoza taught me about my body

Descartes’ mechanism and the muscle-centric approach in fitness

Finally, why are we so eager to go through difficult physical contortions and put the body through ultimate tests? Check my post on Deleuze’s concept of the body without organs in this post:

Yoga or the deleuzian Body without Organs !

Descartes’ mechanism and the muscle-centric approach in fitness

Rene Descartes was a 17th century French philosopher known for his concept of consciousness and the emancipation of man through thinking when he wrote: “Cogito ergo sum”, “I think therefore I am “.

Descartes was in Plato’s dualistic theory of the body and mind. According to Descartes, humans are made of two dimensions, the body and the mind, unlike nature and animals who are one-dimensional as pure machines. However, the human body in itself is a machine. Bodies are submitted to physical and mechanical laws; this is Descartes’ theory of the animal-machine.

The question is: is the muscle-centric approach to fitness mechanistic?

Fitness’ muscle-centric approach is focused on muscles as types, categories, functions, performance and their respective related types of exercises and nutrition. Although being direct consequences, fat loss and general health are not the main target in the muscle-centric fitness. The main target is optimizing muscles with strength and performance. In other words, this approach is very much cartesian mechanism.

Muscle-centric paradigm is thought of as new because it is applied now in some types of fitness but it is rooted in the 17th century philosophy. Whether one likes it or not, it is very efficient.