Postulates of Experiential Realism
1. Experiential realism is experiential in that it focuses on:
- actual potential experiences
- genetically acquired makeup of the organism
- the organism's interactions in the social and physical environment (page X. of the).
2. Experiential realism is a realist in posutulating that:
- there is a real world
- reality places constraints on concepts
- truth goes beyond mere internal coherence
- there is stable knowledge of the world (page xv).
3. There is more to thought than just representation. Thought is also:
- in bodies, in that the structures used to put together our conceptual systems grow out of bodily experience and make sense in terms of it. (Page xiv);
- imaginative, in the concept is not grounded directly in experience (e.g., metaphorical concepts) employ conceptual structures that go beyond the literal representation of reality.
4. Classical categories are inadequate. They are like containers: their members are either in or out. Cognitive models, on the other hand, obey nonclassical "fuzzy" logics, exhibiting degrees of membership (e.g. peripheral/central vs out/in).
5. It is important to focus on conceptual structures and cognitive models, which involve a variety of phenomena.
- Prototype effects: if it is among category members such as some members are more central than others.
- Basic level categorisation: categories that are cognitively basic art in the middle of the general to specific hierarchy. (Page 13).
- Kinaesthetic image schemas: recurrent structures of ordinary bodily experience.
- Metaphorical concepts: Cross domain mappings when knowledge from one domain of the conceptual system is projected onto knowledge in another domain.
- Metanymic concepts: taking one aspect or part of something in using it to centre the thing as a whole offer some other part of it.
Adapted from George Lakoff (1987). Lakoff's work draws on the work of a wide range of thinkers, including Mark Johnson, Eleanor Roch, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Lotfi Zadeh.