Preparatory meeting: 26.11.2020, 18:15 – 20:15
Traditionally, philosophy, psychology, and linguistics used to focus on abstract descriptions when it comes to explain and understand cognition. In particular, the conceptual or semantic system has been framed in terms of a symbolic system in which meaning is defined in terms of abstract features or relationships between symbols. This view has been challenged in recent years both by philosophical arguments and empirical evidence showing that cognitive processes can only be understood if bodily processes are taken into account, that is, if meaning and concepts are ‘grounded’ in the world and in human actions and emotions. In addition, results from brain research have been interpreted to provide strong evidence that concepts are grounded and ‘embodied’. The current ‘embodiment debate’ aims at an integrative account that tackles relevant philosophical issues and explains a broad range of psychological and neuroscience data.
The seminar will start with a discussion of the main philosophical issues. Afterwards, empirical papers from psychology, linguistics and neuroscience which fueled the debate about embodied cognition will be read.