Over the epistemological divide

Geogre Lakeoff‘s book Philosophy in the Flesh makes the following points: “The mind is inherently embodied. Thought is mostly unconscious. Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.”

According to Lakoff, metaphor appears to be a neural mechanism that allows us to adapt the neural systems used in sensory-motor activity to create forms of abstract reason. “If this is correct, as it seems to be,” he says, “our sensory-motor systems thus limit the abstract reasoning that we can perform. Anything we can think or understand is shaped by, made possible by, and limited by our bodies, brains, and our embodied interactions in the world. This is what we have to theorize with.”

He then raises the interesting question: “Is it adequate to understand the world scientifically?

More on this, go to the Edge.