This is a philosophy book for psychotherapists, psychologists, organisational consultants and scholars who are interested in the construction of each other, how we make meaning together and move with people in dialogue. John gets beyond a purely cognitive understanding of what it means to be human and shows us different ways of appreciating the nuanced movements in acts of developing relational know-how to create new ways of being - and becoming. Ann L. Cunliffe, Professor of Management, University of BradfordIt is impossible to capture in a few words all the fine detail and nuances of this beautifully crafted book, it invites careful reading. The title brings together the key themes of John's work across time, themes that invite and challenge us to go beyond taken-for-granted ways of thinking to engage differently with our social world, our place within it, and our ways of generating knowledge. Crucially, he argues we need to develop a discursive consciousness, to make a difference that matters by 'humanifying' ourselves as practitioners and scholars. Harlene Anderson, PhD, Houston Galveston Institute and Taos Institute, USAShotter develops his challenge of our dependence on existing theoretical perspectives and their representations suggesting these orient us to, and reinforce, the familiar, blinding us to the nuances, uniqueness, and previously unseen or ignored details of our everyday lives and the people in it. His illuminated challenge draws on his remarkable grasp and interpretation of classic philosophers such as Bakhtin, Merleau-Ponty, Wittgenstein, and contemporary critical thinkers such as Barad, Bertau, and Lipari. Peter Rober, Professor of Family Therapy, KU Leuven, NederlandsJohn Shotter is a thinker. Thinking has become quite unusual in academic psychology nowadays, dominated as it is by a narrow empirical perspective, and a distrust of philosophical reflection. This book is required reading for all family therapists who are interested in the dialogical perspective. But be warned: this is far from a manual. It is food for reflection. This book of Shotter's is important, as it urges us to be careful with the language we use. The words we casually speak can keep us captive in our usual, individualistic-rationalistic-mechanistic ways of dealing with things, resulting in a world of fragmentation and separation. It is a rich book, that (not withstanding its urgency) should be savored slowly. Like a good wine. Jim Wilson, Systemic Psychotherapist & past Chair, The Family Institute, Cardiff Take this book, read it and ponder on how it influences your ways of meeting in social relations in your life. Shotter's strong and committed voice of dissent towards academic modernist psychology rings throughout the text. Instead of grand claims toward generalised truths, he emphasises the significance of local, proximal and familial, as the sites of fresh beginnings and new possibilities. In Shotter's eyes we can see optimism in achieving important human connections in the apparently ordinary ways of being and becoming. In this comprehensive text, he sets out to challenge the over-emphasis in the fields of modernist research that would have us believe that science will provide the necessary answers to complex matters of human livingness. Kenneth Gergen, Senior Research Professor of Psychology, Swarthmore College and Taos Institute USA John Shotter generously shares with us his rich and illuminating conversations with a host of textual friends. Indeed, these conversations - with their flowing forms without formulations, disclosings without closings - exemplify the major thrust of this inspiring work. Life and love are to be found in sensitive, sensual, and unceasing dialogue.