CFP: The Body Represented/Embodied Representation

Special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology

Guest editors: Adrian J. T. Smith & Frédérique de Vignemont

Call for Papers

Deadline for submissions: 15th of August, 2011

Cognition is embodied. The body is represented. Is there genuinely a convergence of ideas here? Does the claim that representations of the body support cognitive processes amount to the claim that the latter are embodied? What are the important open questions emerging from sensorimotor and embodied accounts of cognition? What are the advances that have been made? This issue will explore the landscape beyond the ideological differences in which embodied and sensorimotor approaches to cognitive science first emerged. It aims to discern avenues of concrete progress with contributions from fields including comparative, developmental, and perceptual psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy. Contributions will serve to clarify the concept of embodiment, its productive value and contemporary worth in the study of mind, and its relation to the emerging focus on body representation in contemporary cognitive neuroscience. The focus will be upon general agreement and the prospects of achieving it. To this end we invite contributions specifically anchored in discussion of one of the particular issues highlighted below. Each contribution ought to be made with a view to encompassing more than one disciplinary domain. We are not looking for revised manifestos, but for genuinely novel contributions to an advancement of the field.


How embodied is a mind that represents its body?
Despite its radical anti-representational roots, embodied cognitive science is often presented as entirely compatible with a representational theory of mind. But does positing representations of the body complement or challenge an understanding of the mind as embodied rather than merely embrained?

Higher cognition & sensorimotor loops: Is there a difference that makes a difference?
The coordination of sensory and motor functions is a capacity shared between the most basic and the most advanced cognitive systems. Is the claim that human cognition is unique in genuine conflict with its putative sensorimotor origins?

To what extent are cognitive capacities learnt through action?
A variety of factors have been hypothesised as playing a role in the acquisition of cognitive capacities, such as innate core modules, linguistic bootstrapping, and sensorimotor engagement. Does sensorimotor learning have a special role in bootstrapping higher cognitive capacities? What is the balance between these factors? Does their contribution vary from one domain to another (e.g. from spatial cognition to mathematics)?

Guest authors
The issue will include invited articles authored by:

  • · Salvatore Aglioti (University of Rome), Matteo Candidi (University of Rome), & Patrick Haggard (University College London)
  • · Ned Block (New York University) & J. Kevin O’Regan (Paris Descartes University)
  • · Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis) & Daniel Povinelli (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
  • · Alvin Goldman (Rutgers)

Order of authorship is alphabetical.

Important dates
Submission deadline: 15th of August, 2011

Target publication date: 15th of March, 2012

How to submit
Prospective authors should register at: to obtain a login and select The Body Represented/Embodied Representation as an article type. Manuscripts should be approximately 8,000 words. Submissions should follow the author guidelines available on the journal’s website.

About the journal
The Review of Philosophy and Psychology (ISSN: 1878-5158; eISSN: 1878-5166) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by Springer and focusing on philosophical and foundational issues in cognitive science. The aim of the journal is to provide a forum for discussion on topics of mutual interest to philosophers and psychologists and to foster interdisciplinary research at the crossroads of philosophy and the sciences of the mind, including the neural, behavioural and social sciences.

The journal publishes theoretical works grounded in empirical research as well as empirical articles on issues of philosophical relevance. It includes thematic issues featuring invited contributions from leading authors together with articles answering a call for paper.

Any questions? Please email the guest editors: