Human Studies

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 219–232 | Cite as

Phenomenology and the Third Generation of Cognitive Science: Towards a Cognitive Phenomenology of the Body

Research Paper


Phenomenology of the body and the third generation of cognitive science, both of which attribute a central role in human cognition to the body rather than to the Cartesian notion of representation, face the criticism that higher-level cognition cannot be fully grasped by those studies. The problem here is how explicit representations, consciousness, and thoughts issue from perception and the body, and how they cooperate in human cognition. In order to address this problem, we propose a research program, a cognitive phenomenology of the body, which is basically motivated by the perspective of Merleau-Ponty. We find a substantial clue in developmental psychological studies on the body and language.


Cognitive Science Human Cognition Humanoid Robot Explicit Representation Joint Attention 


  1. Asada, M., Ishiguro, H., & Kuniyoshi, Y. (1999). The goal of the cognitive robotics. Journal of the Robotics Society of Japan, 17, 2–6. (In Japanese).Google Scholar
  2. Ballard, D. H., Hayhoe, M. M., Pook, P. K., & Rao, R. P. N. (1997). Deictic codes for the embodiment of cognition. Behavioral and Brain Science, 20, 723–767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barbaras, R. (2004). The Being of the Phenomenon. (T. Toadvine & L. Lawlor, Trans.). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1991).Google Scholar
  4. Baron-Cohen, S. (1995). Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Brooks, R. A. (1991). Intelligence without representation. Artificial Intelligence, 47, 139–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brooks, R. A. (2002). Flesh and machines. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  7. Churchland, P. M. (1995). The engine of reason, the seat of the soul. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  8. Clark, A. (1995). Moving minds: Situating content in the service of real-time success. In J. E. Tomberlin (Ed.), Philosophical Perspectives 9 (pp. 89–104). Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  9. Clark, A. (1998). Magic words: How language augments human computation. In P. Carruthers (Ed.), Language and thought: Interdisciplinary themes (pp. 162–183). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Clark, A. (1999). Embodied cognitive sciences? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 3(9), 345–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Descartes, R. (1963, 1967, 1973). Œuvres Philosophiques. 3 tomes. Paris: Garnier.Google Scholar
  12. Dreyfus, H. L. (1972). What computers can’t do: A critique of artificial reason. New York : Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  13. Dreyfus, H. L. (2004). Merleau-Ponty and recent cognitive science. In T. Carman & M. B. N. Hansen (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty (pp. 129–150). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Gibson, J. J. (1978). The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  15. Ihde, D. (2004). Incorporating the material: Phenomenology and philosophy of technology. In S. Nagataki (Ed.), Phenomenology in the 21st century (pp. 216–243). Kyoto: Nakanishiya Shuppan Co. Ltd. (In Japanese).Google Scholar
  16. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  17. Judovitz, D. (1988). Descartes and the limits of representation. In H. J. Silverman & D. Welton (Eds.), Postmodernism and continental philosophy (pp. 68–84). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  18. Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1992). Beyond modularity: A developmental perspective on cognitive science. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  19. Madison, G. B. (1973). La Phénoménologie de Merleau-Ponty. Paris: Klincksieck.Google Scholar
  20. McBeath, M., Shaffer, D., & Kaiser, M. (1995). How baseball outfielders determine where to run to catch fly balls. Science, 268, 569–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1964a). Phenomenology of Perception. (C. Smith, Trans.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. (Original work published 1945).Google Scholar
  22. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1964b). Signs. (R. C. McCleary, Trans.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. (Original work published 1960).Google Scholar
  23. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1968). The Visible and the Invisible. (A. Lingis, Trans.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. (Original work published 1964).Google Scholar
  24. Millikan, R.G. (1995). Pushmi-pullyu representations. In J. E. Tomberlin (Ed.), Philosophical Perspectives 9 (pp. 185–200). Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  25. Takeda, H., Terada, K., & Kawamura, T. (2002). Artifact intelligence: Yet another approach for intelligent robots. In Proceedings from IEEE ROMAN 2002: 11th IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (pp. 176–182). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.Google Scholar
  26. Tilliette, X. (1970). Merleau-Ponty ou la Mesure de l’Homme. Paris: Seghers.Google Scholar
  27. Tomasello, M. (1999). The cultural origins of human cognition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Tomasello, M. (2001). Perceiving intentions and learning words in the second year of life. In M. Bowerman & S. Levinson (Eds.), Language acquisition and conceptual development (pp. 132–158). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Tomasello, M. (2003a). The key is social cognition. In D. Gentner & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in mind (pp. 47–57). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Tomasello, M. (2003b). On the different origins of symbols and grammar in Christiansen. In M. H. Christiansen & S. Kirby (Eds.), Language evolution (pp. 94–110). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Tomasello, M. (2003c). Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. van Gelder, T. (1995). What might cognition be, if not computation? Journal of Philosophy, 92, 345–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International Liberal StudiesChukyo UniversityShowa-ku, NagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Junior College DepartmentShokei Gakuin UniversityNatoriJapan

Personalised recommendations