And Yet...

All of this about bodies might lead one to believe that in early modern thought there was no place for the body. But consider:


1. In the Renaissance, there was a move from seeing God as the centre, to seeing humans as the centre. Not quite a focus on the body, perhaps but... The Greek fascination with the body comes back into play. The body is again a thing of beauty, through its sense of proportion. Granted, the beautiful body only takes our mind to the higher ideal of beauty, but still, bodies were not just lumps of matter.


2. In architecture, buildings are organized like bodies, either literally or symbolically.


3. There is greater fascination with the machine, and people start thinking that all can be explained by just appealing to machines. La Mettrie, for example, or Hobbes.


4. People start thinking about the justification for particular kinds of physical reality. Economics, while not yet a discipline (that doesn't happen until the19th century), starts thinking about our physical life together. Indeed, one writer has argued that the seven deadly sins (all sins of the body) are the virtues of economics.


5. In both the Reformation and the Renaissance, there was a greater emphasis on the individual. Granted, this often meant individual intelligence or reason, but not always.