Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘imagery’

The Arc from the Body to Culture: How Affect, Proprioception, Kinesthesia, and Perceptual Imagery Shape Cultural Knowledge (and vice versa)

Michael Kimmel

Abstract: This essay approaches the complex triadic relation between concepts, body, and culture from an angle rooted in the empirical cognitive research of the past three decades or so. Specifically, it reviews approaches to how the body shapes conceptualization, reasoning, and communication. One main section examines how the body contributes to cultural learning and another how abstract cultural concepts are grounded in sensorimotor experience, perception, and inner somatic states. Their purpose is to survey and briefly critique different theoretical frameworks, probe into their complementarity, and summarily evaluate to what extent higher cognition is embodied. The third main section outlines elements of an epistemological framework that connects culture, concepts, and the body in a sensible way. The paper closes with a discussion of how the embodied cognition paradigm advances a rapprochement of different areas both within cognitive research and beyond.

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