David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):294-304 (2010)
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.
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References found in this work BETA
Michael L. Anderson (2003). Embodied Cognition: A Field Guide. Artificial Intelligence 149 (1):91-130.
Lawrence W. Barsalou (1999). Perceptual Symbol Systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
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Andy Clark (2006). Language, Embodiment, and the Cognitive Niche. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (8):370-374.
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Citations of this work BETA
Phillip Wolff & Dedre Gentner (2011). Structure-Mapping in Metaphor Comprehension. Cognitive Science 35 (8):1456-1488.
Raymond W. Gibbs & Marcus Perlman (2010). Language Understanding is Grounded in Experiential Simulations: A Response to Weiskopf. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):305-308.
Guy Dove (2014). Thinking in Words: Language as an Embodied Medium of Thought. Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (3):371-389.
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