Perception, Action and the Notion of Grounding

  • Alexandros TillasEmail author
  • Gottfried Vosgerau
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 376)


Traditionally, philosophers and cognitive scientists alike considered the mind as divided into input units (perception), central processing (cognition), and output units (action). In turn, they allowed for little – if any – direct interaction between perception and action. In recent years, theorists challenged the classical view of the mind by arguing that bodily states ground cognition. Even though promising, the notion of grounding is largely underspecified. In this paper, we focus on the debate about the relation between perception and action in order to flesh out the process and in turn clarify the notion of grounding. Given that currently the debate about the relation between perception & action is far from settled, we attempt an assessment of the implications that possible outcomes of this debate would have on Grounding Cognition Theories. Interestingly, some of these possible outcomes seem to threaten the overall program of Grounded Cognition. In an attempt to make this analysis more concrete, we study two closely related speculative hypotheses about possible ways in which perception and action interact. Namely, we focus on Theory of Event Coding and Simulation Theory, and evaluate the levels of compatibility between those two views and Grounded Cognition Theories.


Perception Action Embodiment Grounding Grounded cognition 



We would like to thank Patrice Soom, James Trafford, and Uwe Peters for their help and comments on earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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