Embodied cognition and linguistic comprehension

Traditionally, the language faculty was supposed to be a device that maps linguistic inputs to semantic or conceptual representations. These representations themselves were supposed to be distinct from the representations manipulated by the hearer’s perceptual and motor systems. Recently this view of language has been challenged by advocates of embodied cognition. Drawing on empirical studies of linguistic comprehension, they have proposed that the language faculty reuses the very representations and processes deployed in perceiving and acting. I review some of the evidence and arguments in favor of the embodied view of language comprehension, and argue that none of it is conclusive. Moreover, the embodied view itself blurs two important distinctions: first, the distinction between linguistic comprehension and its typical consequences; and second, the distinction between representational content and vehicles. Given that these distinctions are well-motivated, we have good reason to reject the embodied view of linguistic understanding.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.07.005
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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
Lawrence W. Barsalou (1999). Perceptual Symbol Systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
Margaret Wilson (2002). Six Views of Embodied Cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 9 (4):625--636.
Arthur M. Glenberg (1997). What Memory is For. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):1-19.
Stevan Harnad (1990). The Symbol Grounding Problem. Philosophical Explorations 42:335-346.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

67 ( #50,874 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #61,095 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.