Developmental Perspectives on Embodiment and Consciousness: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Developmental Perspectives on Embodiment and Consciousness

1st Edition

Edited by Willis Overton, Ulrich Mueller, Judith Newman

Psychology Press

378 pages

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Until recently, the body has been largely ignored in theories and empirical research in psychology, particularly in developmental psychology. Recently however, several conceptions of the relation between body and mind have been developed. Common among these conceptions is the idea that the body plays an important role in our emotional, social, and cognitive lives.

This latest volume in the Jean Piaget Society Symposia Series illustrates different ways in which the concept of embodiment can be used in developmental psychology and related disciplines. It explores the role of the body in the development of meaning, consciousness, and psychological functioning. The overall goal is to demonstrate how the concept of embodiment can deepen our understanding of developmental psychology by suggesting new possibilities of integrating biological, psychological, and socio-cultural approaches.

Developmental Perspective on Embodiment and Consciousness explores embodiment in two ways. First, embodiment is examined as a condition of and influencing the particular shape of psychological experience. This sense of embodiment reflects the effort to put the mind back into the body. Second, embodiment is examined as a reflective experience in the sense that the mind forms particular images about the body. This sense of embodiment reflects the effort to put the body into the mind.

The book opens with a discussion of embodiment from a meta-theoretical perspective. Then the role of embodiment in grounding conceptual meaning is examined. This is followed by discussions of the role of embodiment in strengthening our understanding of emotions, cognitive development, religious experiences, and social development. Then the role of the body in spatial cognition and the role of language in the development of complex forms of consciousness are explored. The final chapters examine the impact of culture on the conceptualization of the embodied self. The book concludes with an overview of the historical context of the mind-body dualism and a discussion of how the idea of embodiment transcends this dualism.

Intended for researchers and advanced students in developmental, cognitive, and social psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, anthropology, biology, and sociology, this new book also serves as a reference for advanced courses on cognition and development.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. W.F. Overton, Embodiment From a Relational Perspective. M. Johnson, The Meaning of the Body. G. Colombetti, E. Thompson, The Feeling Body: Towards an Enactive Approach to Emotion. J. Voneche, Action as the Solution to the Mind-Body Problem in Piaget’s Theory. E. Thelen, Grounded in the World: Developmental Origins of the Embodied Mind. T.J. Csordas, Embodiment, Alterity, and the Theory of Religion. T.P. Racine, J.I.M. Carpendale, The Embodiment of Mental States. L.S. Liben, Embodiment and Children’s Understanding of the Real and Represented World. H.H. Gao, P.D. Zelazo, Language and Development of Consciousness: Degrees of Disembodiment. E.K. Scholnick, P.H. Miller, Uncovering the Body in Conceptual Development: A Feminist Perspective. S.G. Fegley, M.B. Spencer, T.N. Goss, V. Harpalani, N. Charles, Colorism Embodied: Skin Tone and Psychosocial Well-Being in Adolescence. U. Müller, J.L. Newman, The Body in Action: Perspectives on Embodiment and Development.

About the Series

Jean Piaget Symposia Series

Each year, following their annual meeting, the Jean Piaget Society publishes an edited volume.  This approximately 300-page volume covers the main themes of the symposium and is published by Psychology Press.

Members of the society receive the volume free of charge. Non-members can order copies from this website.

About the Jean Piaget Society

The Jean Piaget Society, established in 1970, has an international, interdisciplinary membership of scholars, teachers and researchers interested in exploring the nature of the developmental construction of human knowledge. The Society was named in honor of the Swiss developmentalist, Jean Piaget, who made major theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of the origins and evolution of knowledge.

The Society's aim is to provide an open forum, through symposia, books, our journal, and other publications, for the presentation and discussion of scholarly work on issues related to human knowledge and its development. The Society further encourages the application of advances in the understanding of development to education and other domains.

In 1989, the name of the Society was changed to Jean Piaget Society: Society for the Study of Knowledge and Development.

You can find out more on the Jean Piaget Society website at .

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology