Source | nature.com | BY:Ib Bondebjerg
This article provides an overview of the main tendencies and ideas in the embodied mind paradigm in the expanding field of modern cognitive science. The focus is not on the biological and neurological aspects of cognitive science, rather the article demonstrates how basic concepts and theories from cognitive science have influenced linguistics, sociology, the understanding of art and creativity, film and film perception, as well as our understanding of historical film narratives and mediated memories. Although these areas of humanities and social science may seem unrelated, this article demonstrates how the embodied mind paradigm has actually forged links between separate scientific disciplines. Cognitive science and the embodied mind theory have created a stronger interdisciplinary connection between cognitive understanding in social science and humanities. Metaphors and image schema, the way our brain relies on narrative structures, the dynamic ability of the brain to blend old and new schemas, and the unparalleled creativity of the brain are all part of the approaches of the cognitive social science and humanities to social interaction, communication and creativity described here. The article also discusses the relationship between the more universal dimensions of the human mind and the question of cultural and social variations. The argument here is that a cognitive and more universal theory of human beings is not the same as determinism. On the contrary, when we understand our universal commonalities and the basic functions of our embodied mind we will also be better placed to understand cultural and social differences and variations.
It ought to be an established fact in all sciences that human beings are the result of a long evolutionary development with interaction between our biology and the social and cultural conditions under which this evolution has taken place. Yet, in some sciences to point to biology, genes and the way our brain is basically constructed as part of an argument of social interaction or culture and creativity can still raise anger and controversy. The fact that our mind is embodied, that our language, way of thinking, our way of interacting with each other, our gender is firmly based in our bodies and our brain can still lead to heated discussions in some branches of academia. Yet, all important forms of cognitive science have clearly pointed out that it is not