Embodied Meaning, Mind, and Thought: Dr. Mark Johnson

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019 -

7:00pm to 8:30pm

Center for the Visual Arts

Humans are creatures of the flesh. Everything we can experience, think, know, and do arises from our bodily engagement with our physical and social environments. Recent research coming from the cognitive sciences showing how the mind, meaning, and thought are intrinsically embodied challenges our inherited view of a mind or soul capable of transcending our bodily nature. In his talk, Dr. Johnson will explore the ways that images, schemas, emotions, and values play a crucial role in our ability to experience, make, and communicate meaning. This embodied cognition theory of mind gives us a rich way to account for how body-based meaning is developed, not just in language, but also in art, music, dance, architecture, gesture, and ritual. What we call “abstract” thought involves metaphorical understanding that recruits these embodied meaning processes for abstract conceptualization and reasoning.

This lecture is part of the Department of Philosophy's Veroni Memorial Lecture Series.