Cognitive Approaches


Conceptual Structure

Embodiment means that thought is not independent of the body but is tightly constrained and at the same time enabled by it. This refers to the point that kinds of thoughts have their foundation in our embodiment - in our morphology and the material properties of our bodies. The nature of the human mind is largely determined by the form of the human body - ideas, thoughts, concepts, categories and so on. Meaning, understanding and rationality arise from and are conditioned by the patterns of our physical experience. Lakhoff states that our brains take the input from the rest of our bodies. René Descartes (1596-1650) - the man who said 'I think, therefore I am'- claims that mind and body are really distinct substances.

The embodied mind is structured in three subfields:

1) Embodied experiences assume that our construal of reality is likely to be mediated in large measure by the nature of our bodies.

2) Embodied cognitions assume that the concepts we have access to and the nature of the 'reality' we think and talk about are a function of our embodiment.

3) Experiential realism claims that there cannot be any objective reality that language reflects directly, because reality is not objectively given.