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  • United States

Consciousness Club #33: Language as Bodily Gesture: From Perception and Action to Speech

Speaker: Hayden Kee (Fordham University)

Abstract: Embodied theories of the mind emphasize the centrality of action and perception in experience and cognition. A challenge for such approaches is to explain how our higher-order cognitive achievements, such as abstract thought and imagination, can be understood starting from more basic bodily abilities. The solution, I propose, may be as simple (or complex) as learning to speak. I turn to developmental studies of infant language learning for insights into the bodily foundations of language and cognition. Perhaps the 7,000 languages of the Earth, for all their diversity, are all variations and elaborations of one fundamental bodily power of gestural expression.

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