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Auteur: Raymond W. GIBBS

Embodiment of Metaphoric Experience

Abstract/Résumé: Many cognitive scientists now claim that various aspects of abstract thinking, including that associated with metaphoric language and thought, are grounded in embodied experience. Although this proposal is often met with skepticism, metaphor scholars offer various suggestions about the ways that metaphors are embodied. Some argue that metaphors have source domains that emerge from recurring aspects of phenomenological bodily action, some claim that metaphors are rooted in frequently activated neural bindings, some claim that metaphors are embodied as part of ongoing socio-cultural practices, while others maintain that metaphors may have once been embodied but now exist as abstract disembodied forms. My talk aims to advance the thesis of radical embodiment in which various aspects of bodily experience, ranging from culture and history to the cognitive unconscious and neural activities self-organize to produce adaptive metaphoric experience. Under this view, embodied metaphors are not the root cause of metaphoric language and action (e.g., gesture), but unfold over time, using the resources of the whole body interacting with the world. I describe the implications of this perspective for the study of metaphoric meaning and theories of mind – language interactions.