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Psychology and the Classics
Theories developed in the so-called "second-generation" cognitive sciences have permitted significant advances in our understanding of how human beings find linguistic and other forms of symbolic representation to be meaningful. 1 In particular, since about 1980, research coming from the "embodiment paradigm" in cognitive psychology and cognitive linguistics has demonstrated just how much people's ability to make sense of their experience is underwritten by conceptual structures and cognitive<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110482201-002">doi:10.1515/9783110482201-002</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/sz5g4g2favb5po6g5bqgn4xkxe">fatcat:sz5g4g2favb5po6g5bqgn4xkxe</a> </span>
more »... ocesses that emerge from interactions among brain, body, and world. Rejecting any view of cognition as abstract symbol manipulation, embodiment theorists claim that thought -and hence the structure and use of language -is in fact directly grounded in the human body's sensory and motor capacities. To the extent that Classics considers itself a broadly hermeneutic discipline that aims to shed light on the meanings elaborated by members of Greek and Roman society, it therefore seems crucial for classical scholars not only to have an awareness of the findings of this "embodied" cognitive science, but also to incorporate its insights into their interpretive strategies. For this reason, in this paper I introduce certain theoretical constructs from the cognitive interdiscipline -specifically, image schemas and conceptual metaphor -that I * I wish to thank this volume's editors as well as Douglas Cairns and the press's anonymous referees for providing excellent feedback on earlier versions of this paper. The usual disclaimers apply about any remaining omissions or errors. 1 Differing from traditional "first generation" cognitive science which viewed cognition largely in information-processing terms as abstract symbol manipulation -a view that has been dubbed the 'MIND-AS-COMPUTER' metaphor -the "second generation" cognitive sciences emphasize mental processes as embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended (generally grouped as "4E theory"): see esp. Rowlands (2010); Boden (2008); and Gallagher (2005). consider key to any psychologically realistic, humanly plausible account of meaning in ancient language and literature (and indeed in ancient culture more generally) and then go on to illustrate their analytic potential through a study of Latin's metaphorical expressions of courage and cowardice. 2
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