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Insides and Outsides


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"This book is a testament to the truly remarkable range and depth of its author, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone. What comes across is the writer's profound understanding not just of what is life but what life and living are all about, what it means to be a human being, and why complementarities are foundational to life. In a global world riddled with fear, the need to comprehend us and them, self and other, the enemy within and without, is more urgent than ever. Insides and Outsides provides penetrating insights into the essential interdependence of living things, the power to see ourselves as others see us as the poet Robbie Burns might say, to examine the wisdom of our own conceits--and much, much more. It takes the apparently familiar inner and outer, and makes them so strange and dynamic that a new appreciation of what it means to be alive emerges. This book is a must read that, like its title, crosses disciplinary divides and urges us to examine our true, animate nature. To be and become depends on it." -- J.A. Scott Kelso, Creech Chair in Science, Florida Atlantic University and Professor of Computational Neuroscience, Ulster University "Phenomenology matters: because it confronts our humanity in a way that is both honest and uncompromising; because it takes us as the moving, breathing, animate beings we truly are; because it insists that to set the world to rights we have first to right ourselves. No-one has done more than Maxine Sheets-Johnstone to show why a phenomenological approach, grounded in the philosophy of Edmund Husserl, is needed for our times. And no-one has done so with such verve, in such forceful language, and across such a wide interdisciplinary terrain. Hers is a voice to be reckoned with." -- Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen "Insides and Outsides is a major contribution to our understanding of the many ways by which an animate body's movement is a key to understanding a remarkable range of different phenomena... This collection of recent essays by a leading philosopher of the body bears the unique stamp of Dr. Sheets-Johnstone's agile balancing of phenomenological description with empirical research... The author proposes bold and ingenious resolutions of classical problems - such as the nature/culture divide and the mind/body problem - while exhibiting a decided proclivity for original, first-order thinking of her own. This book comes as a special gift to its readers, thanks to the light it throws on so many basic dimensions of human and animal existence on earth." -- Edward S. Casey, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, SUNY at Stony Brook; author of The Fate of Place and The World at a Glance "In her work Maxine Sheets-Johnstone appears as a unique brand in the field of human science research. Elegantly, eloquently and with great knowledge she is able to integrate philosophy, human movement studies, psychology, biology, cognitive science, brain research and so much more into a complex and integrated theory of the animated nature of human beings. This volume is a great collection of her work - a book which should be read in small portions to be able to digest the complexity of her thoughts." -- Prof. Dr. Reinhard Stelter, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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