Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s new book! ‘Insides and Outsides: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Animate Nature’

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s new book!
‘Insides and Outsides: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Animate Nature’

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Insides and Outsides flyer 2016

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Insides and Outsides flyer 2016

“In her work Maxine Sheets-Johnstone appears as a unique brand in the eld 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.” — Reinhard Stelter, Professor and Head, Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Copenhagen, author of A Guide to Third Generation Coaching

“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 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.” – 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 rst 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.” — Prof Tim Ingold, Chair of Social Anthropology, 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, rst-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


Insides and Outsides Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Animate Nature, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone

Insides and Outsides brings together diverse aspects of animate nature. Indeed, the book lives up to the word “interdisciplinary” in its title. It brings together diverse academic perspectives within each chapter and across chapters, showing in each instance that scienti c understandings of animate nature are – or can be – complementary to philosophical understandings. Thus insides and outsides, typically viewed as subjective vs. objective, mind vs. body, and self vs. other, are shown to be woven together in complex and subtle ways in the complexities and subtleties of animate life itself.

ISBN: 9781845409043 • Paperback • 320 pages £19.95 • £14.95 / $21.50
PUBLISHED ON 1 September 2016


 Chapter I: Kinesthetic Experience: Understanding Movement Inside and Out
Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy (2010)Vol. 5, No. 2: 111–127 Animation: Analyses, Elaborations, and Implications

Chapter II: Animation: Analyses, Elaborations, and Implications
Husserl Studies (2014) 30:247–268

Chapter III:  On the Origin, Nature, and Genesis of Habit
Phenomenology and Mind (2014) vol. 6: pp. 76-89

Chapter IV: Getting to the Heart of Emotions and Consciousness
In Handbook of Cognitive Science, ed. Paco Calvo and Antoni Gomila. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2008: pp. 453-465

Chapter V: Schizophrenia and the Comet’s Tail of Nature: a Case Study in Phenomenology and Human Psychopathology

Philoctetes (journal co-sponsored by NY Psychoanalytic Institute), (2007), vol. 1, No. 2: 5-45 (target article with commentaries and response)

Chapter VI: The Descent of Man: Human Nature and the Nature/Culture Divide
Anthropological Theory (2010) 10 (4): 343-360

Chapter VII: On the Hazards of Being a Stranger to Oneself
Psychotherapy and Politics International (2008), 6(1): 17–29

Chapter VIII: On the Elusive Nature of the Human Self: Divining the Ontological Dynamics of Animate Being
In In Search of Self: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Personhood, ed. Wentzel van Huyssteen and Erik P. Wiebe. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2011: pp. 198-219

Chapter IX: The Body as Cultural Object/The Body as Pan-Cultural Universal
In Phenomenology of the Cultural Disciplines, eds. Lester Embree and Mano Daniel. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994, pp. 85-114

Chapter X: Descriptive Foundations
Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (2002), vol. 9, No. 1: 165-79

Chapter XI: The Enemy: A Twenty-First Century Archetypal Study
Psychotherapy and Politics International (2010), vol. 8, no. 2: 146-161

Chapter XII: Strangers, Trust, and Religion: On the Vulnerability of Being Alive
Human Studies (2015), vol. 38, No. 3 (DOI 10.1007/s10746-015-9367-z)

Chapter XIII: Movement: Our Common Heritage and Mother Tongue 

In Dance Knowledge, ed. Anne Margrete Fisvik and Egil Bakka. (Proceedings of the 5th NOFOD Conference, Trondheim, Norway, January 10-13, 2002), pp. 37-50

Chapter XIV: Globalization and the Other: Lifeworld(s) on the Brink
Psychotherapy and Politics International (2012), vol. 10, No. 3: 246-260


Maxine Sheets-Johnstone is an interdisciplinary scholar a liated as Courtesy Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon. She began her career as a choreographer/dancer/ professor of dance. Her many books include The Corporeal Turn: An Interdisciplinary Reader and The Primacy of Movement. She was awarded a Distinguished Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, 2007, for her research on xenophobia, and was honoured with a Scholar’s Session at the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy in 2012.

Honoring Gene Gendlin

Two psychotherapy associations are honoring Eugene Gendlin with their Lifetime Achievement Award at their respective conferences:

  • United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP)
  • European Association for Body Psychotherapy (EABP)

Throughout his life, Eugene Gendlin has encouraged people to find their own path. The July, 2016, issue of Somatic Perspectives features several Focusing-oriented practitioners, each describing their unique way of following Gene Gendlin’s footsteps. Somatic Perspectives is a project of LifeSherpa, a nonprofit whose mission is to explore mindfulness as creative interaction. Subscribe to the LifeSherpa newsletter.

Here is a recent interview with Gene where he speaks about Implicit Intricacy: