From the meaning of embodiment to the embodiment of meaning

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


Unlike in much of the contemporary discussion of embodiment, phenomenology is really involved with the body as a kind of meaning appearing to consciousness; and it does not only attend to the body of the biological organism, but also to the kind of organism-independent artefacts which are required by some sign systems. Because it is concerned with meaning, phenomenology is akin to semiotics. From the point of view of the latter discipline, however, signs must be distinguished from other meanings, and clear criteria are needed for doing so. At least one such criterion can by found in the work of Piaget: differentiation. Meaning in the more general sense of organisation and selection is at the basis of the common sense world, and thus accounts for what is known in Cognitive Linguistics as “image schemas”. Cognitive Linguistics, just as biosemiotics, ignores this important distinction. Moreover, some cognitive linguists seem to deny the distinction between organism and environment, which must prevail if “image schemas” are to be acquired, along the lines of earlier conceptions of schematisation. On the basis of these considerations, a developmental sequence can be suggested going from schemas to signs and organism-independent artefacts.


External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • embodiment, sign, body, semiotic function, evolution, semiotics, ecology, phenomenology, memory, picture, Lifeworld
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBody, Language and Mind. Vol 1. Embodiment
EditorsZlatev Jordan, Zimke Tom, Frank R
PublisherMouton de Gruyter
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-019327-5
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1861-4132

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