Phenomenology of Language in a 4e-World

In Jack Alan Reynolds & Richard Sebold (eds.), Phenomenology and Science. New York, USA: Palgrave. pp. 141-159 (2016)
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In recent years there has been much productive interaction between phenomenological authors and work in (‘4e’) cognitive science emphasizing the embodied, embedded, enactive and extended nature of cognition. These interactions have centred on areas of interest common to phenomenology and philosophy of mind, such as embodiment or first-personal experience, with language receiving relatively little attention. This paper aims to broaden these interactions by showing how phenomenology of language complements systematic empirical theories in the 4e tradition. It begins by outlining a phenomenological view of language and suggesting some differences between this and plausibly naturalizable nonextended mental states. I then argue that 4e cognitive science has a general need for phenomenology of language due to the central role it attributes to ‘scaffolds’, before highlighting more specifically how phenomenology provides an image of language better suited to 4e cognitive science than the ‘rules and representations’ model from which this distances itself.



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Andrew Inkpin
University of Melbourne

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