Alexandros Tillas

In the beginning was action, or was it?

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Perception; Action; Cognition; Speech Production; Endogenous Thinking.

In this paper, I focus on the relationship between peripheral systems and cognition. In presenting my argument, I build upon a perceptually oriented view of concepts, and briefly present a view about the relationship between language and cognition (that I developed elsewhere) and assess the implications that this view has for the question about the origins of cognition in action. I start by showing that language plays a key role in thinking and that it does so by exploiting action. Specifically, my focus is on the executive control that we have over our bodies and in particular on the orofacial system responsible for speech production, and argue that this is key in acquisition of endogenous control over our thoughts. By highlighting the strong connections between action, language and cognition, I openly question the traditional view of cognition as being separated from peripheral systems and as using a proprietary code.

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