Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 139–143 | Cite as

Movement is our mother tongue

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, The Corporeal Turn: An Interdisciplinary Reader. Exeter, UK, and Charlottesville, VA, USA: Imprint Academic. ISBN 9 781845 401535
  • Søren OvergaardEmail author
Book Review

“Every thinker”, wrote Heidegger, “only thinks one single thought” (Heidegger 1954: 20). One might wonder to what extent this is true of, say, Aristotle, Locke, or Wittgenstein, but it certainly seems true of Heidegger himself. His work seems dominated by the thought of “being” (das Sein). Another twentieth century thinker who fits the bill is, of course, Levinas. Especially when one reads Levinas’ later works, one is struck by the extent to which the same thought recurs again and again—call it the thought of, or response to, “the other”. This thought, as Derrida famously puts it, “proceeds with the infinite insistence of waves on a beach: return and repetition, always, of the same wave against the same shore, in which, however as each return recapitulates itself, it also infinitely renews and enriches itself” (Derrida 1978: 312).

This quote describes the essays collected in The Corporeal Turn remarkably well.1Like Heidegger and Levinas, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone presses essentially...


  1. Bennett, M. R., & Hacker, P. M. S. (2003). Philosophical foundations of neuroscience. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  2. Derrida, J. (1978). Writing and difference. Translated by A. Bass. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Heidegger, M. (1954). Was heisst Denken? Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag.Google Scholar
  4. Sheets-Johnstone, M. (1999). The primacy of movement. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Danish National Research Foundation: Center for Subjectivity ResearchUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen SDenmark

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