Thinking in Words: Language as an Embodied Medium of Thought

Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (3):371-389 (2014)
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Abstract

Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in the idea that natural language enhances and extends our cognitive capabilities. Supporters of embodied cognition have been particularly interested in the way in which language may provide a solution to the problem of abstract concepts. Toward this end, some have emphasized the way in which language may act as form of cognitive scaffolding and others have emphasized the potential importance of language-based distributional information. This essay defends a version of the cognitive enhancement thesis that integrates and builds on both of these proposals. I argue that the embodied representations associated with language processing serve as a supplementary medium for conceptual processing. The acquisition of a natural language provides a means of extending our cognitive reach by giving us access to an internalized combinatorial symbol system that augments and supports the context-sensitive embodied representational systems that exist independently of language

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Guy Dove
University of Louisville

References found in this work

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Metaphors we live by.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Mark Johnson.
Doing without concepts.Edouard Machery - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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