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Embodied cognition and the Orwell’s problem in cognitive science
Published in Springer-Verlag London Ltd
Volume: 30
Issue: 2
Pages: 193 - 197
Embodied approach to cognition has taken roots in cognitive studies with developments in diverse fields such as robotics, artificial life and cognitive linguistics. Taking cue from the metaphor of a Watt governor, this approach stresses on the coupling between the organism and the environment and the continuous nature of the cognitive processes. This results in questioning the viability of computational–representational understanding of mind as a comprehensive theory of cognition. The paper, after giving an overview of embodied approach based on some examples from conceptual metaphor theory, looks into a special case of Orwell’s problem in cognitive science. The problem is that there is so much evidence for embodiment to be true, yet there is little understanding of the same. I shall try to solve this problem by pointing out that it is our inveterate habits of perceiving ourselves that makes the embodied approach appear implausible. Studies on free will as well as the importance of the unconscious in overall cognitive processing raise challenging questions on our self-conception. A revision in the self-conception in the light of these findings will pave the way for a better appreciation of the embodied approach to cognition. © 2013, Springer-Verlag London.
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