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A propos des " techniques " du corps : retour sur l'article de Mauss

Abstract : The starting point of this paper is Mauss' famous definition of the technology: an efficient traditional act. We are interested more particularly in the body techniques and among them in the "techniques without instrument". But Mauss' definition of the technology appears to be insufficient. There is no doubt that the various techniques enumerated by Mauss are traditional, as it is proven by the fact that they differ according to the various cultures. But the only efficiency does not suffice to identify a subset of technical facts beside other subsets of cultural facts like the religious beliefs or the kinship systems. On the basis of the theory of the mediation, we put forth the existence of a particular abstraction whose presence alone makes it possible to characterize a fact as technical. The reality of this abstraction is confirmed by a kind of brain lesions (atechnias). Then we return to the examination of the "techniques without instrument" enumerated by Mauss. We have chosen to discuss two of them: the dance and the sexual positions. At the end of this investigation, it appears that if dance has actually a technical dimension, it would not be the case with sexual positions. The sexual positions are incontestably cultural as a variable mode of social interaction. But whereas Mauss saw nothing more technical, we remain rather sceptical on this point.
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Contributor : Jean-Michel Le Bot Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, July 4, 2009 - 2:49:41 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 13, 2021 - 12:02:56 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, October 15, 2012 - 3:05:50 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00401717, version 1



Jean-Michel Le Bot. A propos des " techniques " du corps : retour sur l'article de Mauss. 2009. ⟨halshs-00401717⟩



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