Embodiment, language and mimesis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The present focus on embodiment in cognitive science undervalues concepts such as convention/norm, representation and consciousness. I argue that these concepts constitute essential properties of language, and this makes it problematic for “embodiment theories” to account for human language and cognition. These difficulties are illustrated by examining a particular, highly influential approach to embodied cognition, that of Lakoff and Johnson (1999), and exposing the problematic character of the notion of the “cognitive unconscious”. To attempt a reconciliation between embodiment and language, I turn to the concept of (bodily) mimesis, and propose the notion of mimetic schema as a mediator between the individual human body and collective language.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • consciousness, bodily mimesis, conventions, mimetic schemas, representation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBody, Language, Mind. Vol 1: Embodiment
EditorsTom Ziemke, Jordan Zlatev, Roslyn Franck
PublisherMouton de Gruyter
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1861-4132

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