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The Body of the Mind: Embodied Cognition, Law, and Justice

Adam Benforado

Drexel University School of Law

February 2, 2010

St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 54, 2010

Recent research from embodied cognition strongly contests the dualist notion of the mind as distinct and apart from the biological machine of the body - a conception that has powerfully shaped our laws, legal practices, theories, and institutions for centuries. According to the embodied (or grounded) cognition perspective, the body is involved in the constitution of the mind. Thus, beyond our conscious awareness, an abstract concept, like trustworthiness, may be primed by sensorimotor experience, like feeling physical warmth. This Article introduces recent insights from this budding field, discusses some of the potential implications of experiments in embodied cognition for courtroom interactions, and addresses the significant challenges to using this research as a means to reform.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: embodied cognition, embodied grounding, grounded cognition, law and mind sciences, dualism, mind and body, critical realism, situationism

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Date posted: February 2, 2010 ; Last revised: August 14, 2010

Suggested Citation

Benforado, Adam, The Body of the Mind: Embodied Cognition, Law, and Justice (February 2, 2010). St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 54, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1546674

Contact Information

Adam Benforado (Contact Author)
Drexel University School of Law ( email )
3320 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
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