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The Corporeal Turn


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"Now and then a book comes along that shatters your assumptions and changes the way you think. The Corporeal Turn is such a book -- a truly remarkable piece of scholarship and analysis written beautifully in her own, inimitable style. Maxine Sheets-Johnstone holds a mirror up to Nature and shows how, by making the familiar strange, a whole new science of human experience - grounded in animation and dynamics - becomes possible. What a challenge she presents us and what a clarion call for action!" -- J.A. Scott Kelso, Creech Chair in Science, Florida Atlantic University and Pierre de Fermat Laureate "This is a brilliant collection of essays by an exceptionally original thinker. Maxine Sheets-Johnstone seamlessly unites work in phenomenology, evolutionary biology, developmental psychology and several other disciplines, so as to cast new light on many different aspects of bodily experience and activity. The book will be required reading for anyone interested in the living body." -- Matthew Ratcliffe, Reader in Philosophy, Durham University "The essays that comprise this volume span a 26 year period of meticulously presented and thought-provoking arguments by a leading thinker of our time. Though 13 of the 16 essays are not new, they nevertheless maintain a remarkable freshness and relevance and do not appear in any way faded next to their newer off-springs, a testament to the depth of Maxine Sheets Johnson's insights. The body could not find a better advocate, especially today when the brain so dominates discourse on many levels and the term 'neuro' has become a prefix for many fields of study and practice. Poets and mathematicians talk about writing being a 'body thing', and some musicians describe using their body as they feel and create music; in this way, their reports underscore Sheets Johnson's focus on the body and especially the body in movement, which she places firmly at the center of the mind-brain-body debate and discourse." -- Professor Edward Nersessian, Weill Cornell Medical College "Consciousness, on Sheets-Johnstone's account applies to an equally wide range of creatures. For example, she endorses the notion that 'a form of corporeal consciousness is present in bacteria'. What is the argument for this surely very unorthodox idea? If I have understood it correctly, the reasoning is essentially this; even bacteria have what Sheets-johnstone calls 'surface recognition sensitivity'. That is, they are able to detect - by direct tactile contact." Springer Journal

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