Philosophy in the Flesh

The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought

Author: George Lakoff,Mark Johnson

Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)

ISBN: N.A

Category: Philosophy

Page: 624

View: 6736

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Reexamines the Western philosophical tradition, looking at the basic concepts of the mind, time, causation, morality, and the self

Philosophy In The Flesh

Author: George Lakoff

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 9780465056743

Category: Philosophy

Page: 640

View: 5876

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What are human beings like? How is knowledge possible? What is truth? Where do moral values come from? Questions like these have stood at the center of Western philosophy for centuries. In addressing them, philosophers have made certain fundamental assumptions-that we can know our own minds by introspection, that most of our thinking about the world is literal, and that reason is disembodied and universal-that are now called into question by well-established results of cognitive science. It has been shown empirically that:Most thought is unconscious. We have no direct conscious access to the mechanisms of thought and language. Our ideas go by too quickly and at too deep a level for us to observe them in any simple way.Abstract concepts are mostly metaphorical. Much of the subject matter of philosopy, such as the nature of time, morality, causation, the mind, and the self, relies heavily on basic metaphors derived from bodily experience. What is literal in our reasoning about such concepts is minimal and conceptually impoverished. All the richness comes from metaphor. For instance, we have two mutually incompatible metaphors for time, both of which represent it as movement through space: in one it is a flow past us and in the other a spatial dimension we move along.Mind is embodied. Thought requires a body-not in the trivial sense that you need a physical brain to think with, but in the profound sense that the very structure of our thoughts comes from the nature of the body. Nearly all of our unconscious metaphors are based on common bodily experiences.Most of the central themes of the Western philosophical tradition are called into question by these findings. The Cartesian person, with a mind wholly separate from the body, does not exist. The Kantian person, capable of moral action according to the dictates of a universal reason, does not exist. The phenomenological person, capable of knowing his or her mind entirely through introspection alone, does not exist. The utilitarian person, the Chomskian person, the poststructuralist person, the computational person, and the person defined by analytic philosopy all do not exist.Then what does?Lakoff and Johnson show that a philosopy responsible to the science of mind offers radically new and detailed understandings of what a person is. After first describing the philosophical stance that must follow from taking cognitive science seriously, they re-examine the basic concepts of the mind, time, causation, morality, and the self: then they rethink a host of philosophical traditions, from the classical Greeks through Kantian morality through modern analytic philosopy. They reveal the metaphorical structure underlying each mode of thought and show how the metaphysics of each theory flows from its metaphors. Finally, they take on two major issues of twentieth-century philosopy: how we conceive rationality, and how we conceive language.

Metaphors We Live By

Author: George Lakoff,Mark Johnson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226470997

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 256

View: 1367

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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.

The Meaning of the Body

Aesthetics of Human Understanding

Author: Mark Johnson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022602699X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 328

View: 9502

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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

Embodiment and Cognitive Science

Author: Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139447386

Category: Psychology

Page: N.A

View: 1670

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This 2006 book explores how people's subjective, felt experiences of their bodies in action provide part of the fundamental grounding for human cognition and language. Cognition is what occurs when the body engages the physical and cultural world and must be studied in terms of the dynamical interactions between people and the environment. Human language and thought emerge from recurring patterns of embodied activity that constrain ongoing intelligent behavior. We must not assume cognition to be purely internal, symbolic, computational, and disembodied, but seek out the gross and detailed ways that language and thought are inextricably shaped by embodied action. Embodiment and Cognitive Science describes the abundance of empirical evidence from many disciplines, including work on perception, concepts, imagery and reasoning, language and communication, cognitive development, and emotions and consciousness, that support the idea that the mind is embodied.

Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things

Author: George Lakoff

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226471012

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 632

View: 6127

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"Its publication should be a major event for cognitive linguistics and should pose a major challenge for cognitive science. In addition, it should have repercussions in a variety of disciplines, ranging from anthropology and psychology to epistemology and the philosophy of science. . . . Lakoff asks: What do categories of language and thought reveal about the human mind? Offering both general theory and minute details, Lakoff shows that categories reveal a great deal."—David E. Leary, American Scientist

Mind in Life

Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind

Author: Evan Thompson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674736885

Category: Philosophy

Page: 568

View: 9637

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How is life related to the mind? Thompson explores this so-called explanatory gap between biological life and consciousness, drawing on sources as diverse as molecular biology, evolutionary theory, artificial life, complex systems theory, neuroscience, psychology, Continental Phenomenology, and analytic philosophy. Ultimately he shows that mind and life are more continuous than previously accepted, and that current explanations do not adequately address the myriad facets of the biology and phenomenology of mind.

Embodied Mind, Meaning, and Reason

How Our Bodies Give Rise to Understanding

Author: Mark Johnson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022650039X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 240

View: 8285

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Mark Johnson is one of the great thinkers of our time on how the body shapes the mind. This book brings together a selection of essays from the past two decades that build a powerful argument that any scientifically and philosophically satisfactory view of mind and thought must ultimately explain how bodily perception and action give rise to cognition, meaning, language, action, and values. A brief account of Johnson’s own intellectual journey, through which we track some of the most important discoveries in the field over the past forty years, sets the stage. Subsequent chapters set out Johnson’s important role in embodied cognition theory, including his cofounding (with George Lakoff) of conceptual metaphor theory and, later, their theory of bodily structures and processes that underlie all meaning, conceptualization, and reasoning. A detailed account of how meaning arises from our physical engagement with our environments provides the basis for a nondualistic, nonreductive view of mind that he sees as most congruous with the latest cognitive science. A concluding section explores the implications of our embodiment for our understanding of knowledge, reason, and truth. The resulting book will be essential for all philosophers dealing with mind, thought, and language.

More than Cool Reason

A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor

Author: George Lakoff,Mark Turner

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226470989

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 237

View: 5838

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"The authors restore metaphor to our lives by showing us that it's never gone away. We've merely been taught to talk as if it had: as though weather maps were more 'real' than the breath of autumn; as though, for that matter, Reason was really 'cool.' What we're saying whenever we say is a theme this book illumines for anyone attentive." — Hugh Kenner, Johns Hopkins University "In this bold and powerful book, Lakoff and Turner continue their use of metaphor to show how our minds get hold of the world. They have achieved nothing less than a postmodern Understanding Poetry, a new way of reading and teaching that makes poetry again important." — Norman Holland, University of Florida

How the Body Shapes the Mind

Author: Shaun Gallagher

Publisher: Clarendon Press

ISBN: 0191622575

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 5058

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How the Body Shapes the Mind is an interdisciplinary work that addresses philosophical questions by appealing to evidence found in experimental psychology, neuroscience, studies of pathologies, and developmental psychology. There is a growing consensus across these disciplines that the contribution of embodiment to cognition is inescapable. Because this insight has been developed across a variety of disciplines, however, there is still a need to develop a common vocabulary that is capable of integrating discussions of brain mechanisms in neuroscience, behavioural expressions in psychology, design concerns in artificial intelligence and robotics, and debates about embodied experience in the phenomenology and philosophy of mind. Shaun Gallagher's book aims to contribute to the formulation of that common vocabulary and to develop a conceptual framework that will avoid both the overly reductionistic approaches that explain everything in terms of bottom-up neuronal mechanisms, and inflationistic approaches that explain everything in terms of Cartesian, top-down cognitive states. Gallagher pursues two basic sets of questions. The first set consists of questions about the phenomenal aspects of the structure of experience, and specifically the relatively regular and constant features that we find in the content of our experience. If throughout conscious experience there is a constant reference to one's own body, even if this is a recessive or marginal awareness, then that reference constitutes a structural feature of the phenomenal field of consciousness, part of a framework that is likely to determine or influence all other aspects of experience. The second set of questions concerns aspects of the structure of experience that are more hidden, those that may be more difficult to get at because they happen before we know it. They do not normally enter into the content of experience in an explicit way, and are often inaccessible to reflective consciousness. To what extent, and in what ways, are consciousness and cognitive processes, which include experiences related to perception, memory, imagination, belief, judgement, and so forth, shaped or structured by the fact that they are embodied in this way?

Louder Than Words

The New Science of how the Mind Makes Meaning

Author: Benjamin K. Bergen

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465028292

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 296

View: 6225

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Describes how meaning is conveyed and processed in the mind, answering questions about how people can understand information about things they have never seen in person and why they move their hands and arms when they speak.

The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought

Author: Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 113947166X

Category: Psychology

Page: N.A

View: 2725

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A comprehensive collection of essays in multidisciplinary metaphor scholarship that has been written in response to the growing interest among scholars and students from a variety of disciplines such as linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, music and psychology. These essays explore the significance of metaphor in language, thought, culture and artistic expression. There are five main themes of the book: the roots of metaphor, metaphor understanding, metaphor in language and culture, metaphor in reasoning and feeling, and metaphor in non-verbal expression. Contributors come from a variety of academic disciplines, including psychology, linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science, literature, education, music, and law.

Where Mathematics Comes from

How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics Into Being

Author: George Lakoff,Rafael E. Núñez

Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)

ISBN: N.A

Category: Mathematics

Page: 493

View: 7581

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Provides an in-depth analysis of the cognitive science of mathematical ideas that argues that conceptual metaphor plays a definitive role in mathematical ideas, exploring such concepts as arithmetic, algebra, sets, logic, and infinity. 20,000 first printing.

The New Science of the Mind

From Extended Mind to Embodied Phenomenology

Author: Mark Rowlands

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026228894X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 264

View: 5621

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There is a new way of thinking about the mind that does not locate mental processes exclusively "in the head." Some think that this expanded conception of the mind will be the basis of a new science of the mind. In this book, leading philosopher Mark Rowlands investigates the conceptual foundations of this new science of the mind. The new way of thinking about the mind emphasizes the ways in which mental processes are embodied (made up partly of extraneural bodily structures and processes), embedded (designed to function in tandem with the environment), enacted (constituted in part by action), and extended (located in the environment). The new way of thinking about the mind, Rowlands writes, is actually an old way of thinking that has taken on new form. Rowlands describes a conception of mind that had its clearest expression in phenomenology -- in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. He builds on these views, clarifies and renders consistent the ideas of embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended mind, and develops a unified philosophical treatment of the novel conception of the mind that underlies the new science of the mind.

Musical Forces

Motion, Metaphor, and Meaning in Music

Author: Steve Larson

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253005493

Category: Music

Page: 390

View: 7131

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Steve Larson drew on his 20 years of research in music theory, cognitive linguistics, experimental psychology, and artificial intelligence—as well as his skill as a jazz pianist—to show how the experience of physical motion can shape one’s musical experience. Clarifying the roles of analogy, metaphor, grouping, pattern, hierarchy, and emergence in the explanation of musical meaning, Larson explained how listeners hear tonal music through the analogues of physical gravity, magnetism, and inertia. His theory of melodic expectation goes beyond prior theories in predicting complete melodic patterns. Larson elegantly demonstrated how rhythm and meter arise from, and are given meaning by, these same musical forces.

From Molecule to Metaphor

A Neural Theory of Language

Author: Jerome Feldman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262296888

Category: Psychology

Page: 384

View: 2416

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In From Molecule to Metaphor, Jerome Feldman proposes a theory of language and thought that treats language not as an abstract symbol system but as a human biological ability that can be studied as a function of the brain, as vision and motor control are studied. This theory, he writes, is a "bridging theory" that works from extensive knowledge at two ends of a causal chain to explicate the links between. Although the cognitive sciences are revealing much about how our brains produce language and thought, we do not yet know exactly how words are understood or have any methodology for finding out. Feldman develops his theory in computer simulations -- formal models that suggest ways that language and thought may be realized in the brain. Combining key findings and theories from biology, computer science, linguistics, and psychology, Feldman synthesizes a theory by exhibiting programs that demonstrate the required behavior while remaining consistent with the findings from all disciplines.After presenting the essential results on language, learning, neural computation, the biology of neurons and neural circuits, and the mind/brain, Feldman introduces specific demonstrations and formal models of such topics as how children learn their first words, words for abstract and metaphorical concepts, understanding stories, and grammar (including "hot-button" issues surrounding the innateness of human grammar). With this accessible, comprehensive book Feldman offers readers who want to understand how our brains create thought and language a theory of language that is intuitively plausible and also consistent with existing scientific data at all levels.

The Way We Think

Conceptual Blending And The Mind's Hidden Complexities

Author: Gilles Fauconnier,Mark Turner

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 9780786725571

Category: Psychology

Page: 464

View: 3008

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In its first two decades, much of cognitive science focused on such mental functions as memory, learning, symbolic thought, and language acquisition --the functions in which the human mind most closely resembles a computer. But humans are more than computers, and the cutting-edge research in cognitive science is increasingly focused on the more mysterious, creative aspects of the mind. The Way We Think is a landmark synthesis that exemplifies this new direction. The theory of conceptual blending is already widely known in laboratories throughout the world; this book is its definitive statement. Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner argue that all learning and all thinking consist of blends of metaphors based on simple bodily experiences. These blends are then themselves blended together into an increasingly rich structure that makes up our mental functioning in modern society. A child's entire development consists of learning and navigating these blends. The Way We Think shows how this blending operates; how it is affected by (and gives rise to) language, identity, and concept of category; and the rules by which we use blends to understand ideas that are new to us. The result is a bold, exciting, and accessible new view of how the mind works.

Theology in the Flesh

How Embodiment and Culture Shape the Way We Think about Truth, Morality, and God

Author: John Sanders

Publisher: Fortress Press

ISBN: 1506408435

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 6203

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Metaphors and other mental tools are used to reason (not just speak) about God, salvation, truth, and morality. Figurative language structures our theological and moral reasoning in powerful ways. This book uses an approach known as cognitive linguistics to explore the incredibly rich ways our conceptual tools, derived from embodied life and culture, shape the way we understand Christian teachings and practices. The cognitive revolution has generated amazing insights into how human minds make sense of the world. This book applies these insights to the ways Christians think about topics such as God, justice, sin, and salvation. It shows that Christians often share a set of very general ideas but disagree on what the Bible means or the moral stances we should take. It explains why Christians often develop a number of appropriate but sometimes incompatible ways to understand the Bible and various doctrines. It assists Christians in understanding those with whom they disagree. Hopefully, simply better understanding how and why people think the way they do will foster better dialogue and greater humility.

Simulation and Social Theory

Author: Sean Cubitt

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 0857026402

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 6621

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This insightful book is the first to critically examine the ideas of some of the key thinkers of simulation. It addresses the work of Baudrillard, Debord, Virilio and Eco, clarifying their arguments by referring to the intellectual and social worlds each emerged from distilling what is important from their discussions. The book argues for a critical and selective use of the concept of simulation. Like the idea of ideology, simulation is a political theory, but it has also become a deeply pessimistic theory of the end of history and the impossibility of positive change. Through a series of reflections on the meaning of theme parks, warfare and computer modelling, Sean Cubitt demonstrates the strengths and limitations of the simulation thesis.

The Embodied Mind

Cognitive Science and Human Experience

Author: Francisco J. Varela,Evan Thompson,Eleanor Rosch

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026252936X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 392

View: 2890

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A new edition of a classic work that originated the "embodied cognition" movement and was one of the first to link science and Buddhist practices.