Gesticulation as the integration of body and mind-a semantics of nodding


Human mind and human body have been separated from each other as belonging to familiar different categories. But what if we are supposed to admit a category of bodily posture? This is a paper to advance a thesis that mental content in bodily posture is a basis to integrate mind and body. First, what is the basis to claim that there is such a thing as a bodily posture? We humans all communicate each other not only through an ordinary language but also through human postures. Often human postures are much more efficient ways of expressing of ourselves and of understanding each other. Affirmation of this is more natural than its denial. Second, human postures have a mental content. Nodding expresses an agreement to what is suggested where turning indicates disapproval or ignorance. Nodding and turning are physical acts. And so far as they are acts they carry mental contents. But it is important that we do correctly understand the mental contents in such acts. Often mental acts have been taken to be subjective or solipsistic. But contemporary discussions on mental content indicate that mental content carries a wide context rather than a narrow one. If so, this would help us to see how body and mind integrate themselves in the human conception of ourselves.

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