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Embodied Cognition, Representationalism, and Mechanism: A Review and Analysis



Embodied cognition has attracted significant attention within cognitive science and related fields in recent years. It is most noteworthy for its emphasis on the inextricable connection between mental functioning and embodied activity and thus for its departure from standard cognitive science's implicit commitment to the unembodied mind. This article offers a review of embodied cognition's recent empirical and theoretical contributions and suggests how this movement has moved beyond standard cognitive science. The article then clarifies important respects in which embodied cognition has not departed fundamentally from the standard view. A shared commitment to representationalism, and ultimately, mechanism, suggest that the standard and embodied cognition movements are more closely related than is commonly acknowledged. Arguments against representationalism and mechanism are reviewed and an alternative position that does not entail these conceptual undergirdings is offered.

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