Interpersonally Situated Cognition

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In this paper I consider how thinking emerges out of human infants' relatedness towards the personal and non-personal world. I highlight the contrast between cognitive aspects and cognitive components of psychological functioning, and propose that even when thinking has become a partly separable component of the mind, affective and conative aspects inhere in its nature. I provide illustrative evidence from recent research on the developmental psychopathology of autism. In failing to adopt a developmental perspective, contemporary theorizing has displaced thinking from where it is properly situated - intimately woven with feeling as well as action, and infused with qualities of interpersonal relatedness from which its structure is derived.

Keywords: affective communication; autism; identification; situated cognition

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Tavistock Clinic and Institute of Child Health, University College London,

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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