Bioethics, Art and Body-cathexis in Persons With Disabilities


  • Renata Martinec Associate Professor



Self-assessment and social reception of the physical appearances of people with disabilities take place in a very demanding and challenging area in modern society. For this reason, effort has been made to promote the “disability aesthetics” in order to emphasize the importance of accepting “bodies” that differ from the desirable, socially determined aesthetic representation. As part of this attempt, art should also be considered as an interesting medium, since it can promote the universality of aesthetics and reveal beauty in its imperfection and incompleteness by playing with acceptable elements of form. It is, in fact, something different and incomprehensible combined with an acceptable aesthetic form that expresses the unity of opposites, as well as the experience of diversity and magnificence of the human body. In this sense, it is not not only social sensitization towards bodily imperfection that is being promoted, but also the positive body cathexis, which has one of the crucial roles in defining self-experience and in forming one’s emotions, ideas, and behaviors. In this regard, interdisciplinary collaboration should be the basis for choosing new paradigms and aesthetic criteria, according to which each individual, despite their “incomplete beauty”, would be a metaphor for something special, unrepeatable and unique. Ultimately, such belief can help one achieve a sense of self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment as one of the fundamental achievements of one’s own existence.
Keywords: bioethics, art, universal aesthetics, disability art, body cathexis.