The now-classic Metaphors We Live By changed our understanding of metaphor and its role in language and the mind. Metaphor, the authors explain, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are "metaphors we live by"--metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them. In (...) this updated edition of Lakoff and Johnson's influential book, the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language. (shrink)
"There are books—few and far between—which carefully, delightfully, and genuinely turn your head inside out. This is one of them. It ranges over some central issues in Western philosophy and begins the long overdue job of giving us a radically new account of meaning, rationality, and objectivity."—Yaakov Garb, _San Francisco Chronicle_.
Using path-breaking discoveries of cognitive science, Mark Johnson argues that humans are fundamentally imaginative moral animals, challenging the view that morality is simply a system of universal laws dictated by reason. According to the Western moral tradition, we make ethical decisions by applying universal laws to concrete situations. But Johnson shows how research in cognitive science undermines this view and reveals that imagination has an essential role in ethical deliberation. Expanding his innovative studies of human reason in Metaphors We Live (...) By and The Body in the Mind, Johnson provides the tools for more practical, realistic, and constructive moral reflection. (shrink)
In _The Meaning of the Body_, Mark Johnson continues his pioneering work on the exciting connections between cognitive science, language, and meaning first begun in the classic _Metaphors We Live By_. Johnson uses recent research into infant psychology to show how the body generates meaning even before self-consciousness has fully developed. From there he turns to cognitive neuroscience to further explore the bodily origins of meaning, thought, and language and examines the many dimensions of meaning—including images, qualities, emotions, and metaphors—that (...) are all rooted in the body’s physical encounters with the world. Drawing on the psychology of art and pragmatist philosophy, Johnson argues that all of these aspects of meaning-making are fundamentally aesthetic. He concludes that the arts are the culmination of human attempts to find meaning and that studying the aesthetic dimensions of our experience is crucial to unlocking meaning's bodily sources. Throughout, Johnson puts forth a bold new conception of the mind rooted in the understanding that philosophy will matter to nonphilosophers only if it is built on a visceral connection to the world. “Mark Johnson demonstrates that the aesthetic and emotional aspects of meaning are fundamental—central to conceptual meaning and reason, and that the arts show meaning-making in its fullest realization. If you were raised with the idea that art and emotion were external to ideas and reason, you must read this book. It grounds philosophy in our most visceral experience.”—George Lakoff, author of _Moral Politics_. (shrink)
What are the processes, from conception to adulthood, that enable a single cell to grow into a sentient adult? Neuroconstructivism is a pioneering 2 volume work that sets out a whole new framework for considering the complex topic of development, integrating data from cognitive studies, computational work, and neuroimaging.
What is the difference between right and wrong? This is no easy question to answer, yet we constantly try to make it so, frequently appealing to some hidden cache of cut-and-dried absolutes, whether drawn from God, universal reason, or societal authority. Combining cognitive science with a pragmatist philosophical framework in Morality for Humans: Ethical Understanding from the Perspective of Cognitive Science, Mark Johnson argues that appealing solely to absolute principles and values is not only scientifically unsound but even morally suspect. (...) He shows that the standards for the kinds of people we should be and how we should treat one another—which we often think of as universal—are in fact frequently subject to change. And we should be okay with that. Taking context into consideration, he offers a remarkably nuanced, naturalistic view of ethics that sees us creatively adapt our standards according to given needs, emerging problems, and social interactions. Ethical naturalism is not just a revamped form of relativism. Indeed, Johnson attempts to overcome the absolutist-versus-relativist impasse that has been one of the most intractable problems in the history of philosophy. He does so through a careful and inclusive look at the many ways we reason about right and wrong. Much of our moral thought, he shows, is automatic and intuitive, gut feelings that we follow up and attempt to justify with rational analysis and argument. However, good moral deliberation is not limited merely to intuitive judgments supported after the fact by reasoning. Johnson points out a crucial third element: we imagine how our decisions will play out, how we or the world would change with each action we might take. Plumbing this imaginative dimension of moral reasoning, he provides a psychologically sophisticated view of moral problem solving, one perfectly suited for the embodied, culturally embedded, and ever-developing human creatures that we are. (shrink)
In the past thirty years, face perception has become an area of major interest within psychology. The Oxford Handbook of Face Perception is the most comprehensive and commanding review of the field ever published.For anyone looking for the definitive review of this burgeoning field, this is the essential book.
Several research groups have identified a network of regions of the adult cortex that are activated during social perception and cognition tasks. In this paper we focus on the development of components of this social brain network during early childhood and test aspects of a particular viewpoint on human functional brain development: “interactive specialization.” Specifically, we apply new data analysis techniques to a previously published data set of event-related potential ~ERP! studies involving 3-, 4-, and 12-month-old infants viewing faces of (...) different orientation and direction of eye gaze. Using source separation and localization methods, several likely generators of scalp recorded ERP are identified, and we describe how they are modulated by stimulus characteristics. We then review the results of a series of experiments concerned with perceiving and acting on eye gaze, before reporting on a new experiment involving young children with autism. Finally, we discuss predictions based on the atypical emergence of the social brain network. (shrink)
Dewey's ethical naturalism has provided an exemplary model for many contemporary naturalistic treatments of morality. However, in some recent work there is an unfortunate tendency to presuppose a moral faculty as the alleged source of what are claimed to be nearly universal moral judgments. Marc Hauser's Moral minds (2006) thus argues that our shared moral intuitions arise from a universal moral organ, which he analogizes to a Chomskyan language faculty. Following Dewey's challenge to the postulation of the idea of universal (...) instincts, I argue that Hauser's moral faculty account is (1) contrary to results from recent cognitive science, (2) unnecessary for explaining our moral understanding and reasoning, and (3) counterproductive to the correct project of a non-transcendent, empirically-grounded theory of moral understanding and problem-solving. I provide a sketch of an alternative account of what such an ethical naturalism would involve. (shrink)
Neuroconstructivism: How the Brain Constructs Cognition proposes a unifying framework for the study of cognitive development that brings together (1) constructivism (which views development as the progressive elaboration of increasingly complex structures), (2) cognitive neuroscience (which aims to understand the neural mechanisms underlying behavior), and (3) computational modeling (which proposes formal and explicit specifications of information processing). The guiding principle of our approach is context dependence, within and (in contrast to Marr ) between levels of organization. We propose that three (...) mechanisms guide the emergence of representations: competition, cooperation, and chronotopy; which themselves allow for two central processes: proactivity and progressive specialization. We suggest that the main outcome of development is partial representations, distributed across distinct functional circuits. This framework is derived by examining development at the level of single neurons, brain systems, and whole organisms. We use the terms encellment, embrainment, and embodiment to describe the higher-level contextual influences that act at each of these levels of organization. To illustrate these mechanisms in operation we provide case studies in early visual perception, infant habituation, phonological development, and object representations in infancy. Three further case studies are concerned with interactions between levels of explanation: social development, atypical development and within that, developmental dyslexia. We conclude that cognitive development arises from a dynamic, contextual change in embodied neural structures leading to partial representations across multiple brain regions and timescales, in response to proactively specified physical and social environment. (shrink)
Abstract Recent empirical studies of categorization, concept development, semantic structure, and reasoning reveal the inadequacies of all theories that regard knowledge as static, propositional, and sentential. These studies show that conceptual structure and reason are grounded in patterns of bodily experience. Structures of our spatial/temporal orientations, perceptual interactions, and motor programs provide an imaginative basis for our knowledge of, and reasoning about, more abstract domains. Such a view transcends both foundationalism and extreme relativism or scepticism.
Scientiﬁc concepts are deﬁned by metaphors. These metaphors determine what attention is and what count as adequate explanations of the phenomenon. The authors analyze these metaphors within 3 types of attention theories: (a) “cause” theories, in which attention is presumed to modulate information processing (e.g., attention as a spotlight; attention as a limited resource); (b) “effect” theories, in which attention is considered to be a by-product of information processing (e.g., the competition metaphor); and (c) hybrid theories that combine cause and (...) effect aspects (e.g., biasedcompetition models). The present analysis reveals the crucial role of metaphors in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and the efforts of scientists to ﬁnd a resolution to the classic problem of cause versus effect interpretations. (shrink)
This paper examines the varied cultural meanings of computer game play in competitive and professional computer gaming and live-streaming. To do so it riffs off Andrew Feenberg’s 1994 work exploring the changing meanings of the ancient board game of Go in mid-century Japan. We argue that whereas Go saw a de-aestheticization with the growth of newspaper reporting and a new breed of ‘westernized’ player, the rise of professionalized computer gameplay has upset this trend, causing a re-aestheticization of professional game competition (...) as a result of the many informal elements that contribute to the successes, and public perceptions, of professional players. In doing so we open up the consideration of the aesthetics of broadcasted gameplay, how they reflect back upon the players and the game, and locate this shift historically and culturally within the last two decades of computer games as a creative industry, entertainment industry, a media form, and as an embodied practice. (shrink)
Eye contact plays a critical role in many aspects of face processing, including the processing of smiles. We propose that this is achieved by a subcortical route, which is activated by eye contact and modulates the cortical areas involve in social cognition, including the processing of facial expression. This mechanism could be impaired in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
This article views face perception as the ideal case study example for understanding the deeper principles underlying human neurodevelopment. It illustrates how face perception has been one of oldest battlegrounds for resolving key issues in human development. It argues that taking a developmental approach to face perception can resolve some of the major current debates in the adult face perception and cognitive neuroscience literature. Thus, face perception and development continue to be mutually informative domains of study. The work on newborns (...) designed to test the “innate knowledge” of faces, studying the development of face perception skills during infancy and childhood, has proved to be fertile ground for domain-general theories of perceptual and cognitive development. The study reviews recent literature on the factors that contribute to the specialization of certain cortical areas for face processing. It suggests an intriguing alternative middle-ground view in this polarized debate. (shrink)
Conducting or overseeing research in correctional settings requires knowledge of specific federal rules and regulations designed to protect the rights of individuals in incarceration. To investigate the extent to which relevant groups possess this knowledge, using a 10-item questionnaire, we surveyed 885 IRB prisoner representatives, IRB members and chairs with and without experience reviewing HIV/AIDS correctional protocols, and researchers with and without correctional HIV/AIDS research experience. Across all groups, respondents answered 4.5 of the items correctly. Individuals who have overseen or (...) conducted correctional research had the highest scores; however, even these groups responded correctly only to slightly more than half of the items. These findings emphasize the need for ongoing training in federal guidelines governing correctional research, particularly for those individuals who are embarking on this type of research. (shrink)
J. M. Kennedy and J. Vervaeke argue that my view of the bodily and imaginative basis of meaning commits me to a mistaken reductionism and to the erroneous view that metaphors actually impose structure on the target domain. I explain the sense in which image schemas are central to the bodily grounding of meaning, although in a way that is not reductionistic. I then show how conceptual metaphors can involve pre-existing image-schematic structure and yet can also be partially constitutive of (...) the conceptual structure of the target domain. In this way human conceptual systems can be both rooted in patterns of our bodily interactions and at the same time can be subject to various kinds of imaginative development and extension. (shrink)
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) focuses on specific community needs, and produces results that directly address those needs. Although conducting ethical CBPR is critical to its success, few academic programs include this training in their curricula. This article describes the development and evaluation of an online training course designed to increase the use of CBPR in mental health disciplines. Developed using a participatory approach involving a community of experts, this course challenges traditional research by introducing a collaborative process meant to encourage (...) increased participation by special populations and narrow the parity gap in effective mental health treatment and services delivery. (shrink)