Genevieve Stebbins and the philosophical roots of somatics | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1757-1871
  • E-ISSN: 1757-188X


Today’s multiplicity of somatic modalities – therapeutic arts of bodily awareness – unite in their practitioners’ shared mission to provide a corrective for the mind–body severance lived out in western culture. Unfortunately, this severance often recapitulates itself in an anti-intellectual stance held by many champions of bodily wisdom. Yet, a look back at the origins of the somatics movement reveals a much more integral conception of the human being in the philosophical system of psycho-physical culture set forth by the performer, author, teacher and philosopher Genevieve Stebbins. A prominent influence in the world of physical culture at the dawn of the twentieth century, Stebbins’ work exemplifies the possibility of retrieving holistic conceptions of the human being from the history of western thought and creatively retranslating them in the light of modern consciousness Through such a view, the human body is revealed as visible spirit, instrument of living art.


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