The body is not only a biological phenomenon it is also a social creation of immense complexity. It is not so much a "given" as a social category, with different meanings - composed, imposed and developed in each age and indeed by each individual. The attributes, functions and specific organs of the body and the senses are likewise highly controversial. The author explores the history of thinking about the body and the senses paying special attention both to shifts in ways of thinking about the body over time and to the clash of different approaches to the body today. How people think and feel about their bodies and their senses influences how they live their lives and die their deaths. This book is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of how the body is conceptualized and lived. He avoids abstract discussion in favour of a down to earth approach to the body. Thus the author examines particular parts of the body: the face and hair and particular bodily senses: touch, smell, sight. He also provides an up to date and reliable survey of the literature.