Overcoming the Disunity of Understanding


I argue that embodied understanding and conceptual-representational understanding interact through schematic structure. I demonstrate that common conceptions of these two kinds of understanding, such as developed by Wheeler (2005, 2008) and Dreyfus (2007a, b, 2013), entail a separation between them that gives rise to significant problems. Notably, it becomes unclear how they could interact; a problem that has been pointed out by Dreyfus (2007a, b, 2013) and McDowell (2007) in particular. I propose a Kantian strategy to close the gap between them. I argue that embodied and conceptual-representational understanding are governed by schemata. Since they are governed by schemata, they can interact through a structure that they have in common. Finally, I spell out two different ways to conceive of the schematic interaction between them—a close, grounding relationship and a looser relationship that allows for a minimal interaction, but preserves the autonomy of both forms of understanding.

Keywords: Embodied Understanding, Conceptual-Representational Understanding, Embodied Cognition, Kant, Heidegger, Schemata

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