David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
An inadequate grasp of the role of imagination has vitiated understanding of human cognition in western thinking. Extending a project initiated with George Lakoff in _Metaphors we Live By_ (1980), Mark Johnson's book _The Body in the Mind_ (1987) offers the claim that all thinking originates in bodily experience. A range of schemata formed during our early experience manipulating a physical world of surfaces, distances, and forces, lays the foundation of later, more abstract modes of thought. In presenting his argument, Johnson lays special stress on the qualities and dynamics of the image schemata, the (generally unnoticed) metaphoricity of the transformations underlying abstract thought, and the new significance that should be attributed to the imagination, which is the general term Johnson wishes to claim for the mental processes he expounds. In this paper I draw attention to the importance of Johnson's insights for understanding literary response. In particular, I will show how a typical procedure of literary texts involves bringing to awareness image schemata of the kind that Johnson describes. At the same time, several problems in Johnson's account which limit its usefulness will also be examined: an undue reliance upon the spatial properties of schemata; a conflation of dead with live or poetic metaphors; and a neglect of other bodily influences on thought, especially kinaesthetic and affective aspects. These problems, for example, limit the usefulness of Johnson's attempt to build on Kant's theory of imagination. In comparison with Coleridge, who also attempted to build on Kant, Johnson is unable to overcome the formalism of Kant's theory. Coleridge's account of imagination, I will suggest, provides a better foundation for examining the bodily basis of meaning, while remaining compatible with Johnson's intentions and his more valuable insights.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Barbara Johnson (2008). Persons and Things. Harvard University Press.
Leo Groarke (2002). Johnson on the Metaphysics of Argument. Argumentation 16 (3):277-286.
Diana E. Axelsen (1989). Kant's Metaphors for Persons and Community. Philosophy and Theology 3 (4):301-321.
George Lakoff (1980/2003). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press.
Daniel Laurier (1990). Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind George Lakoff Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1987. 614 P. 29, 95 $The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination and Reason Mark Johnson Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1987. 233 P. 27, 50 $. [REVIEW] Dialogue 29 (03):477-.
John M. Kennedy & John Vervaeke (1993). Metaphor and Knowledge Attained Via the Body. Philosophical Psychology 6 (4):407 – 412.
Mark Johnson (1993). Moral Imagination: Implications of Cognitive Science for Ethics. University of Chicago Press.
Mark Johnson (2007). The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding. University of Chicago Press.
Mark L. Johnson (1987). The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason. University of Chicago Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads20 ( #80,142 of 1,096,411 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #231,754 of 1,096,411 )
How can I increase my downloads?