Introduction: Body/practice?

Springer International Publishing
Publication Type:
Professional and Practice-based Learning, 2015, 11, pp. 3-14
Issue Date:
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1 BG NH Intro V2_BG FINAL.docxAccepted version52.23 kB
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© 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. This chapter introduces the key questions around which the Body/Practice book is framed. How the body matters in practice, its significance for understanding and researching professional practice, learning and education, and the implications of an approach that centres the body are all raised as central matters of concern. These questions are located within broader traditions of social and philosophical enquiry, and related to a somatic turn that has been embraced across a range of disciplines. The chapter then turns more explicitly to questions of (professional) practice, situating a focus on the body within key developments in practice theory. This leads to an engagement with methodological issues, and links to the notion of philosophical-empirical enquiry as a distinctive research stance that seeks to marry conceptual sophistication with empirical rigour within a broader practice-focused research agenda. This stance is discussed in relation to varied (meta-)traditions of practice-theory scholarship, including those described as neo-Aristotelian, post-Cartesian, and American Pragmatist. The chapter concludes with a brief account of the genesis of Body/Practice as a volume, and an outline of each of the remaining chapters.
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