Derived Embodiment in Abstract Language

  • Theresa Schilhab

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Theresa Schilhab
    Pages 1-34
  3. Theresa Schilhab
    Pages 35-55
  4. Theresa Schilhab
    Pages 57-85
  5. Theresa Schilhab
    Pages 87-125
  6. Theresa Schilhab
    Pages 127-152
  7. Theresa Schilhab
    Pages 153-177
  8. Theresa Schilhab
    Pages 179-195
  9. Theresa Schilhab
    Pages 197-222
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 223-242

About this book


How does knowledge of phenomena and events we have no direct experiences of emerge? Having a brain that learns from being in the world, how can we conceive of prehistoric dinosaurs, Atlantis, unicorns or even ‘desire’? This book is about how abstract knowledge becomes anchored in direct experiences through well-formed conversations.

Within the framework of evolutionary biology and through the lens of contemporary studies in cognitive science, the neurosciences, sociology and anthropology, this book traces topics such as our inborn sensitivity to the environment, bottom-up and top-down processes in knowledge formation and the importance of language when we learn to categorise the world.

A major objective of this monograph is to identify the key determinants of the specific interactivity mechanisms that control the cognitive processes while we are linguistically immersed. The emphasis is on real-life interactions in conversations. While the concrete word-object paradigm depends relatively more on direct experiences, the successful acquisition of abstract knowledge depends on the emphatic skills of the interlocutor. He or she must remain sensitive to the level and quality of the imagination of the child while making mental tableaus that are believed to elicit images to which the child associates the concept.

Derived embodiment in abstract thought is a landmark synthesis that operationalizes contemporary neuroscience studies of acquisition of knowledge in the real life conversational context. The result is an exciting biology-based contribution to theories of knowledge acquisition and thinking in sociology, cognitive robotics, anthropology and not at least, pedagogy.  


Embodied cognition Language as representation Linguistic stages Interactional expertise Empirical results Body-language relation Links between language and perception Process of linguification Neural aggregates and correlates Implicit processes in linguification Bottom-up and top-down Concrete and abstract knowledge Derived embodiment and interactional expertise Effects on cognitive content and functioning Neural consideration in education Cognitive Biology Language Acquisition

Authors and affiliations

  • Theresa Schilhab
    • 1
  1. 1.DPU, Future Technologies, Culture and Learning, Danish School of EducationUniversity of AarhusCopenhagenDenmark

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-56055-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-56056-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site