Kinaesthesia in the Psychology, Philosophy and Culture of Human Experience

AHP readers will be interested in a new book by Roger Smith: Kinaesthesia in the Psychology, Philosophy and Culture of Human Experience. The book is described as follows:

This accessible book explores the nature and importance of kinaesthesia, considering how action, agency and movement intertwine and are fundamental in feeling embodied in the world.

Bringing together psychological, philosophical and cultural perspectives, the book examines the subjective feeling of movement in a cross-disciplinary manner. It discusses kinaesthesia through the framework of embodied cognition and outlines how contemporary discussion in psychology and phenomenology can inform our understanding of everyday experience. The book also sketches a framework for full appreciation of the sense of movement in performance and cultural life, discussing how a sense of movement is central to one’s agency. It is composed in four ‘movements’, aiming to achieve a connected and original argument for why movement matters, an argument exemplified in dance. The first movement explains the science of kinaesthesia and the history of the concept to a discussion of current thought informed by phenomenology and embodied cognition, the second quiet movement reflects on the psychological and philosophical dimensions of the sense of movement, the third movement turns to the culture of movement in dance and walking, and the fourth rests with the pleasures of movement, and emphasizes the social dimensions of movement in gesture and agency.

This wide-ranging book is a must-read for all those interested in the psychology of movement, embodied cognition, performance studies and the interaction between psychology and dance. It will also be of interest to students and practitioners of embodied movement and dance practice therapies.

Table of Contents


List of illustrations

Part 1. First movement: theme and variations

1. Being alive

2. What is the sense of movement?

3. Kinaesthesia appears on the map of science

Part 2. Second movement: andante

4. The feel for reality

5. Phenomenology and embodiment

6. Movement and time

Part 3. Third movement: minuet and trio

7. Free dance

8. Walking

9. The dance of life

Part 4. Fourth movement: allegro

10. Gesture

11 .Agency

12. Finale – con brio

References and selected reading


About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.