David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):599-622 (2012)
The ubiquitous human practice of spontaneously gesturing while speaking demonstrates the embodiment, embeddedness, and sociality of cognition. The present essay takes gestural practice to be a paradigmatic example of a more general claim: human cognition is social insofar as our embedded, intelligent, and interacting bodies select and construct meaning in a way that is intersubjectively constrained and defeasible. Spontaneous co-speech gesture is markedly interesting because it at once confirms embodied aspects of linguistic meaning-making that formalist and linguistic turn-type philosophical approaches fail to appreciate, and it also forefronts intersubjectivity as an inherent and inherently normative dimension of communicative action. Co-speech hand gestures, as linguistically meaningful speech acts, demonstrate both sedimentation and spontaneity (in the sense of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s dialectic of linguistic expression ( 2002 )), or features of convention and nonconvention in a Gricean sense ( 1989 ). Yet neither pragmatic nor classic phenomenological approaches to communication can accommodate the practice of co-speech hand gesturing without some rehabilitation and reorientation. Pragmatic criteria of intersubjectivity, normativity, and rationality need to confront the non-propositional and nonverbal meaning-making of embodied encounters. Phenomenological treatments of expression and intersubjectivity must consider the normative nature of high-order social practices like language use. Reciprocally critical exchanges between these traditions and gesture studies yield an improved philosophy that treats language as a multi-modal medium for collaborative meaning achievement. The proper paradigm for these discussions is found in enactive approaches to social cognition. Co-speech hand gestures are first and foremost emergent elements of social interaction, not the external whirring of an isolated internal consciousness. In contrast to current literature that frequently presents gestures as uncontrollable bodily upsurge or infallible imagistic phenomenon that drives and dances with verbal or “linguistic” convention (McNeill 1992 , 2005 ), I suggest that we study gestures as dynamic, embodied, and shared tools for collaborative sense-making.
|Keywords||Gesture Language Intersubjectivity Normativity Convention Enaction|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Barry Allen (2008). Artifice and Design: Art and Technology in Human Experience. Cornell University Press.
John Austin (1961). Compiled by JO Urmson and GJ Warnock. In J. O. Urmson & G. J. Warnock (eds.), Philosophical Papers. Clarendon Press.
Robert B. Brandom (1994). Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment. Harvard University Press.
Hanne De Jaegher (2009). Social Understanding Through Direct Perception? Yes, by Interacting. Consciousness & Cognition 18 (2):535-542.
Hanne De Jaegher (2009). What Made Me Want the Cheese? A Reply to Shaun Gallagher and Dan Hutto. Consciousness & Cognition 18 (2):549-550.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Pierre Feyereisen (2003). Are Human Gestures in the Present Time a Mere Vestige of a Former Sign Language? Probably Not. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):220-221.
David McNeill, Bennett Bertenthal, Jonathan Cole & Shaun Gallagher (2005). Gesture-First, but No Gestures? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):138-139.
Wolff-Michael Roth & Daniel V. Lawless (2002). How Does the Body Get Into the Mind? Human Studies 25 (3):333-358.
Max M. Louwerse & Adrian Bangerter (2010). Effects of Ambiguous Gestures and Language on the Time Course of Reference Resolution. Cognitive Science 34 (8):1517-1529.
Barbara J. King & Stuart Shanker (2004). Beyond Prosody and Infant-Directed Speech: Affective, Social Construction of Meaning in the Origins of Language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):515-515.
Jonathan Cole, Shaun Gallagher & David McNeill (2002). Gesture Following Deafferentation: A Phenomenologically Informed Experimental Study. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1 (1):49-67.
Peter Woelert (2011). Human Cognition, Space, and the Sedimentation of Meaning. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (1):113-137.
Sergeiy Sandler (2011). Reenactment: An Embodied Cognition Approach to Meaning and Linguistic Content. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):583-598.
Anna M. Barrett, Anne L. Foundas & Kenneth M. Heilman (2005). Speech and Gesture Are Mediated by Independent Systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):125-126.
Thomas Fuchs & Hanne de Jaegher (2009). Enactive Intersubjectivity: Participatory Sense-Making and Mutual Incorporation. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):465-486.
Hanne De Jaegher & Ezequiel Di Paolo (2007). Participatory Sense-Making. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):485-507.
Elizabeth A. Behnke (1997). Ghost Gestures: Phenomenological Investigations of Bodily Micromovements and Their Intercorporeal Implications. [REVIEW] Human Studies 20 (2):181-201.
Olivier le Guen (2011). Speech and Gesture in Spatial Language and Cognition Among the Yucatec Mayas. Cognitive Science 35 (5):905-938.
Juraj Simko & Fred Cummins (2011). Sequencing and Optimization Within an Embodied Task Dynamic Model. Cognitive Science 35 (3):527-562.
Added to index2011-12-01
Total downloads21 ( #90,977 of 1,410,160 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #155,015 of 1,410,160 )
How can I increase my downloads?