Embodied Cognition

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Description

Jose Ramos:

"Embodied cognition is the idea that our cognising of the world around us is located in us as individuals (cognising) and as groups (co-cognising). We are primarily social beings interacting and co-cognising with others, ‘structurally coupled’ into cultural (e.g. language, religion, tradition), and ecological / geo-graphic contexts (Maturana, 1998, p. 174). As Lakoff and Johnson argue,

- Understanding emerges from interaction, from constant negotiation with the environment and other people…the nature of our bodies and our physical and cultural environment impose a structure on our experience…recurrent experience leads to the formation of categories, which are experiential gestalts with those natural dimensions. (Lakoff, 1980, p. 230)" (http://www.scribd.com/doc/43609946/Alternative-Futures-of-Globalisation-A-socio-ecological-study-of-the-world-social-forum-process)

Discussion

Alexander Beiner:

"The field of embodied cognition has been steadily unpicking the flaws of mind body dualism over the last few decades. It is a field of research based on the premise that to fully understand how the brain works, and how cognition works, you have to see the brain as embodied — inextricably linked and informed by the body it is in, and the sensations it receives.

We are not, and never have been, reasoning intelligences controlling a machine we call a body. We are deeply, profoundly embodied creatures. In clinging to mental maps we are also grasping at our concept of reason. However, our understanding of reason itself is often deluded as well. Neuroscientist Antonio Demasio and others have built a compelling case that we aren’t rational actors, but that our brains make emotional decisions first and then construct rational frameworks to justify them. Despite this, the idea persists that reason is divorced from the messiness of our bodies, emotions and souls. As cognitive science advances and the evidence mounts, mind body dualism seems increasingly unconvincing.


Cognitive scientists George Lakoff and Rafeal Núñez explain:

“Cognitive science calls this entire [Cartesian] philosophical worldview into serious question on empirical grounds… [the mind] arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences. This is not just the innocuous and obvious claim that we need a body to reason; rather, it is the striking claim that the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment.” (https://medium.com/rebel-wisdom/lost-ways-of-knowing-2180a80987d8)


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