Symbols and embodiment: Debates on meaning and cognition

Manuel De Vega, Arthur Glenberg, Arthur Graesser

Research output: Book/ReportBook

73 Scopus citations


Cognitive scientists have a variety of approaches to studying cognition: experimental psychology, computer science, robotics, neuroscience, educational psychology, philosophy of mind, and psycholinguistics, to name but a few. In addition, they also differ in their approaches to cognition - some of them consider that the mind works basically like a computer, involving programs composed of abstract, amodal, and arbitrary symbols. Others claim that cognition is embodied - that is, symbols must be grounded on perceptual, motoric, and emotional experience. The symbolist and embodiment camps seldom engage in any kind of debate to clarify their differences. This book, however, attempts to do so. It brings together a team of scientists, adopting symbolist and embodied viewpoints, in an attempt to understand how the mind works and the nature of linguistic meaning. As well as being interdisciplinary, all authors have made an attempt to find solutions to substantial issues beyond specific vocabularies and techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages456
ISBN (Electronic)9780191696060
ISBN (Print)9780199217274
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive scientists
  • Computer science
  • Educational psychology
  • Experimental psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Robotics
  • Symbols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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