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16852 - Hauptseminar

Meaning - embodiment - extrospection

Koordination: Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Location: Universität Potsdam, Campus Golm, Haus 10, R 0.26

Time: Mo 18.02. - Fr 22.02., 9:00-17:00

Planing meeting: 20.12.2018, 18:00-20:00 (HU, Unter den Linden 6, Seminarraum 3059, Hauptgebäude)

Language: English

Limited capacity: No

Compulsory participation: Yes

Programm zur Vorlesung

Signup Website:

In order to receive credit for this seminar, participants have to give a presentation (max 30 minutes per topic). You can sign up for a seminar presentation (Referat) here: 




Traditionally, philosophy, psychology, and linguistics used to focus on abstract descriptions when it comes to explain and understand cognition. In particular, the conceptual or semantic system has been framed in terms of a symbolic system in which meaning is defined in terms of abstract features or relationships between symbols. This view has been challenged in recent years both by philosophical arguments and empirical evidence showing that cognitive processes can only be understood if bodily processes are taken into account, that is, if meaning and concepts are ‘grounded’ in the world and in human actions and emotions. In particular, results from brain research have been interpreted to provide strong evidence that concepts are grounded and ‘embodied’. The current embodiment debate aims at an integrative account that tackles relevant philosophical issues and explains a broad range of psychological and neuroscience data.

The seminar will focus on discussion of main philosophical issues concepts and meanings, the experimental psychological and linguistic investigation of their processing, and their underlying neurobiological mechanisms. Main topics will cover the relationships of concepts and meanings to experiences, the nature of abstract meaning, and the question how it is possible to communicate about emotions although one’s inner states may seem to be private.

The course is offered jointly by the Berlin School of Mind and Brain at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, the Universität Potsdam and the Freie Universität Berlin. It will be held by three lecturers from three different disciplines, Martin Fischer, Michael Pauen and Friedemann Pulvermüller.

To obtain a certificate of attendance, it is necessary to

• attend most of the sessions (maximum misses: three),

• pre- and reprocess the session content by reading the recommended key papers, and

• present a key paper in embodiment debate

Presentations should last not more than 30’ and be supported by a powerpoint presentation and handouts to participants. If you are interested in participating and presenting, please discuss your plan with FP directly (preferably during office hours, Wednesdays, 12-1pm, room JK 31/232) or contact Verena Arndt (verena.arndt@fu-berlin.de).

To register for the lecture series, please put your name down on the signup sheet provided at the planning session (20.12.2018, 18-20h *). We will be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding this course, be it about formalities, your presentation or wider research interests.

Readings for preparation:

Pauen, M. (2010). How privileged is first-person privileged access? American Philosophical Quarterly, 47(1), 1-15.

Kiefer, M., & Pulvermüller, F. (2012). Conceptual representations in mind and brain: Theoretical developments, current evidence and future directions. Cortex, 48(7), 805-825.

Dieser Bereich stellt Kursmaterial und Referate zum Download zur Verfügung und erfordert ein Passwort.

 Kursmaterial und Literatur