Phenomenological Reviews

Series | Book | Chapter


If the body is part of our discourse, why not let it speak?

five critical perspectives

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone

pp. 83-95


Of the five perspectives set forth in this essay, four of them specify obstacles that block experiential understandings of emotions. The obstacles in one way and another subvert the living body, whether presenting it as a mere face or as an ahistorical adult body, as an embodied phenomenon or as a brain unattached to a whole-body nervous system. Such accounts bypass the affective dynamics that move through bodies and move them to move. Being true to the truths of experience, the fifth perspective, requires recognition of our infancy and even of our prenatal lives, both of which are tethered to developmental movement. It furthermore requires recognition of affective realties as subject-world relationships and recognition of the dynamic congruency of emotions and movement. In the end, the perspectives lead us to inquire about "the things themselves."

Publication details

Published in:

Depraz Natalie, Steinbock Anthony (2018) Surprise: an emotion?. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 83-95

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-98657-9_5

Full citation:

Sheets-Johnstone Maxine (2018) „If the body is part of our discourse, why not let it speak?: five critical perspectives“, In: N. Depraz & A. Steinbock (eds.), Surprise, Dordrecht, Springer, 83–95.