The Child in the World
Embodiment, Time, and Language in Early Childhood
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Wayne State University Press
Series: Landscapes of Childhood
A book is a long time in the making, and there are many friends who assisted in the creation of this one. I want to thank Michael Simms, my husband, for his unfailing encouragement of my writing and his willingness to read...
This book was conceived when my children were small. I vowed to be “a thinking mother,” which meant to me that the phenomena of our lives as parents and children were worthy of philosophical reflection. On the one hand...
1. Milk and Flesh: Infancy and Coexistence
The day after our daughter, Lea, was born, I watched her sleep next to me on the big bed. Even before she stirred I could feel the milk come down into my breasts. Lea whimpered, opened her eyes, and I picked her up. Greedily...
2. The World’s Skin Ever Expanding: Spatiality and the Structures of Child Consciousness
Spatiality is inscribed into our bodies and souls. The toddler, called by curiosity and desire, steps into the spatial web and moves along its threads. The sunlight falls onto the bare floorboards and beckons. It lights up the hand...
3. About Hens, Hands, and Old-Fashioned Telephones: Gestural Bodies and Participatory Consciousness
In medieval illuminated manuscripts and pre-Renaissance paintings we find many depictions of the human body that strike the modern reader as odd. We come across the infant Jesus sitting or standing on his mother’s lap: sometimes...
4. The Child in the World of Things
More than any other existential form (such as space, time, and other human beings) things are present, tangible, and near in the environment of the body, but they also withdraw from philosophical reflection. They are close and distant at the same time. Things are so ordinary that they...
5. Playing at the Edge: What We Can Learn from Therapeutic Play
By the end of the twentieth century the connection between early childhood and play seemed well established and generally accepted in the humanities and social sciences: philosophers, poets, educators, and psychologists seemed to agree that early childhood is the...
6. Because We Are the Upsurge of Time: Toward a Genetic Phenomenology of Lived Time
At a conference in Davos during the late 1920s, Albert Einstein posed a set of questions to the philosophers and psychologists who were present: “Is our intuitive grasp of time primitive or derived? Is it identical with our intuitive...
7. Babble in the House of Being: Pointing, Grammar, and Metaphor in Early Language Acquisition
Every afternoon my grandmother’s uneven steps echoed through the hospital hallway, and I knew she was coming long before she appeared in the doorway. My bed was in the middle, wedged between two others in the children’s ward. I was five years old...
8. The Invention of Childhood: Historical and Cultural Changes in Selfhood and Literacy
From the City Chronicle of Cologne, AD 1213: In this year occurred an outstanding thing and one much to be marveled at, for it is unheard of throughout the ages. About the time of Easter and Pentecost...