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authors Johnson, M.
year 1987
title The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason
source University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois
summary This is the first work which systematically put together a sensible story about the intermodal structures (image schemata) linking high-level cognition, like langauge, with the body-rich information of perceptual processing. Johnson's image schemata was the first proposal for this project which was both neurally plausible, given the organization of the cortex into topology preserving maps (contradicting Fodor and Pylshyn's mistaken view), and supported by the evidence from development, in language and conceptual structure. This book spawned debates on schematization in fields ranging from developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, linguistics, philosophy, neurocomputational modeling, and neuroscience. When the st century cognitive neuroscience writes its chapter on the way semantic processing works at a neural level, it will need to refute those 20th century philosophers of language who thought that language was primarily referential, truth-conditional, and operated on symbols formed independently of bodily perception. This book will be the touchstone for that project.
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