cover of book

The Forgotten Sense: Meditations on Touch
by Pablo Maurette
University of Chicago Press, 2018
eISBN: 978-0-226-56150-9 | Cloth: 978-0-226-56133-2 | Paper: 978-0-226-56147-9
Library of Congress Classification BF275.M397 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 152.182

Of all the senses, touch is the most ineffable—and the most neglected in Western culture, all but ignored by philosophers and artists over millennia. Yet it is also the sense that links us most intimately to the world around us, from our mother’s caress when we’re born to the gentle lowering of our eyelids after death.

The Forgotten Sense gives touch its due, addressing it in multifarious ways through a series of six essays. Literary in feel, ambitious in conception, admirable in their range of reference and insight, these meditations address questions fundamental to the understanding of touch: What do we mean when we say that an artwork touches us? How does language affect our understanding of touch? Is the skin the deepest part of the human body? Can we philosophize about a kiss? To aid him in answering these questions, Pablo Maurette recruits an impressive roster of cultural figures from throughout history: Homer, Lucretius, Chrétien de Troyes, Melville, Sir Thomas Browne, Knausgaard, Michel Henry and many others help him unfurl the underestimated importance of the sense of touch and tactile experience.

​The resulting book is essay writing at its best—exploratory, surprising, dazzling, a reading experience like no other. You will come away from it with a new appreciation of touch, and a new way of understanding our interactions with the world around us.

See other books on: Meditations | Mind & Body | Science | Senses and sensation | Touch
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