Images Schemas in Conceptual Development: What Happened to the Body?

Philosophical Psychology 21 (2):231-239 (2008)
Mandler's target article claims that infants' capacity to abstract certain kinds of information from perceptual ldisplays occurs through a special mechanism of ?perceptual meaning analysis?, which generates abstract, ?image-schemas? that are analogical representations summarizing spatial relations and movement in space. Under this view, perceptual processes give input to forming conceptual representations, but higher-order concepts are disembodied, symbolic representations that are stripped of their embodied roots. My alternative argument is that bodily experience has an enduring role in early conceptual development, and throughout the lifespan, with image-schemas being continually tied to ongoing perceptual and kinesthetic actions. Many global and abstract concepts may be created in the moment given specific task demands and retain deep connections to embodied actions and experiences
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