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Embodied ways of knowing.

In this article I present an argument for `embodied ways of knowing' as an alternative epistemological strategy, drawing on feminist research and embodied experience. To present my argument, I begin by considering a number of problematic dualisms that are central to Western knowledge, such as the separation between mind and body and between knowledge and experience. In critique of mind/body dualism, feminists and phenomenologists claimed that Western understandings were based on a profound ignorance about and fear of the body. Mind/body dualism needed to be challenged and articulated differently, potentially through valuing and understanding `embodiment'. In critique of the knowledge/experience dualism, feminists and phenomenologists have suggested that `knowing' could be based on lived experience. From lived experience, knowledge could be constructed by individuals and communities, rather than being universal and resulting strictly from rational argument. Research on women's ways of knowing and on movement experience provided valuable insights into alternative ways of knowing. Just as lived experience and movement experience could be ways of knowing, I argue that `embodied ways of knowing' could also contribute specifically to knowledge. The relevance of understanding `embodied ways of knowing' for those involved in education and movement studies may be the further appreciation, development and advocacy for the role of movement experience in education.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Barbour, K. (2004). Embodied ways of knowing. Waikato Journal of Education, 10, 227-238.
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato
© 2004 Waikato Journal of Education. It is posted here by permission for personal use.