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[Xmca-l] Barsalou's Grounded Cognition Theory



Martin,
Thank You for the article on Grounded theory that is exploring the
multimodal synthesis of  perceptual, action, linguistic, and conceptual
phenomena. [his Perceptual Symbol System's or PSS theory]. On page 623
Barsalou explores *memory theories* and says his Perceptual Symbol System
Theory  shares similarities with Rubin's *Basic Systems Theory*
In Barsalou's words,
"Basic Systems Theory proposes that a complex memory contains many
multimodal components from vision, audition, action, space, affect,
language, etc., and that retrieving a memory involves simulating its
multimodal components together.
Rubin was articulating a more complex and richer form of memory which
includes autobiographical memory and oral history.

On page 622 Barsalou articulates his PSS theory and indicates how grounded
cognition can implement symbolic functions naturally. He states,

"Through the construct of simulators - corresponding roughly to concepts
and types in standard theories - PSS implements the standard symbolic
functions of type-token, binding, inference, productivity, recursion and
propositions."

I am curious how you understand the relation of Barsalou's Perceptual
Symbol System theory of grounded cognition as it engages with another
complex aspect of the symbolic memory system which points to more expansive
notions of memory through historical time. Ricoeur has engaged deeply with
this more expansive symbolic memory. which he describes as a schema of
existence. As a concrete example he refers to the symbol of *captivity*
which trans*forms* an actual historical event such as the Jewish Egyptian
captivity and then the Babylonian captivity into a *schema of existence*
Ricouer conjectures that symbolism such as the schema of captivity precedes
reflection as a *guiding metaphor*.
It is this complex, multimodal aspect of memory that I was pointing to.

Ricouer posits a relation between the *literal* and the *metaphoric* in the
power or force of the living symbol. He says in the analogous relation [A
is to B as C is to D]  and these terms can be objective. BUT in symbolic
metaphor  I cannot *objectivize* the analogous relation. By living in the
first *literal* meaning in this literal act I am drawn or carried *beyond*
this literal understanding [i.e. captivity] The symbolic *meaning* is
*constituted* IN AND THROUGH the literal *meaning*.

I am not sure where to situate Ricouer's exploration of the symbolic
relation that *binds*  literal *meaning* and  symbolic *meaning*. As
another aspects of multimodal cognition can Ricouer's  extension of *memory
systems* beyond autobiography and oral history be included in Barsalou's
PASS theory of grounded cognition?  Would Barsalou situate Ricouer's
metaphorical understanding of symbolism as a simulation?