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Touch me if you can: The intangible but grounded nature of abstract concepts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 June 2020

Anna M. Borghi
Affiliation:
Department of Dynamic and Clinical Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Via degli Apuli 1, 00185Rome, Italy anna.borghi@uniroma1.it Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, Italian National Research Council, Via San Martino della Battaglia 44, 00185Rome, Italy. luca.tummolini@istc.cnr.it
Luca Tummolini
Affiliation:
Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, Italian National Research Council, Via San Martino della Battaglia 44, 00185Rome, Italy. luca.tummolini@istc.cnr.it

Abstract

Thinking about what the senses cannot grasp is one of the hallmarks of human cognition. We argue that “intangible abstracta” are represented differently from other products of abstraction, that goal-derived categorization supports their learning, and that they are grounded also in internalized linguistic and social interaction. We conclude by suggesting different ways in which abstractness contributes to cement group cohesion.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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