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Signifying Bodies: Biosemiosis, Interaction and health

Signifying Bodies: Biosemiosis, Interaction and health

Stephen J. Cowley; João C. Major; Sune V. Steffensen; Alfredo Dinis (Editors), 362 págs., 2010

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In our everyday lives we strive to stay healthy and happy, while we live as our selves, engage with each other, and discover an infinite world of possibilities. Health arises and diminishes as human beings draw on a vibrant ecology of actions, interactions and coactions. Intricate processes of biosemiosis connect signifying bodies with their natural surroundings, cultural activities and subjective experiences. Health stretches all the qay from the ecosocial surroundings, through the skin and into the self-organizing processes of every living cell.

Signifying Bodies lays out a new approach to health and health care. Eschewing all farms of dualism, the authors emphasise the interdependency of how we act, think, feel and function. They advocate a relational turn in health care, in which bodies live and learn from suffering and care. In this view, health is inseparable from both living beings and their changing ecosystems. This is explored in a trans-disciplinary dialogue between biologists, physicians, therapists, semioticians, linguists, psychologists, and philosophers. Attention is given to developing methods that illuminate the events of health interactions. These are used in empirical investigations of, for example, how rheumatoid arthritis sufferers view their treatment, how decisions are made in simulated emergencies, and how therapists and homeopaths use distributed language and cognition with their clients.


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