The work of Colwyn Trevarthen at Edinburgh University demonstrates that the child is born equipped for social interaction, and expecting to be a subject among subjects. The child interacts with its environment, both natural and social.

The video evidence he has collected is so compelling that no room is left for doubt: the child’s world is one of intersubjectivity.

In one piece of video we see a father holding hidden in his coat a premature baby. The baby utters short passages of squeaks, pausing for a response from the adult. A dialogue is established in which both parent and child play equal and determining roles. The roots of social interaction, language and musicality are revealed.

About Harry Dowling

Born 1946 in Liverpool
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