Emotion, Expression, Explanation
Edited By András Benedek and Kristof Nyiri
Image and Time in the Theory of Gestures
← 252 | 253 → Image and Time in the Theory of Gestures
As I indicated in my paper “Visualization and the Horizons of Scientific Explanation”, in the subsection “The Visual and the Motor”,1 as well as in the section “Visual Thinking” in my paper “Images in Conservative Education”,2 towards the end of the nineteenth century there emerged a psychological position according to which it is the whole body, the entire motor system, including facial expressions and bodily gestures, that underlies not just emotions, but also abstract thought. Meaning, both emotional and cognitive, should be conceived of as primordially grounded, and ultimately embodied, in the motor dimension. This psychological perspective was definitely conducive to inspiring the late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century interest in the language of gestures, an interest that is today once more vivid.
One can speak about gestures, and about languages of gestures, in at least four, partly of course overlapping, senses. First, as referring to the natural language of deaf-mutes, today forming the basis of a great number of officially recognized sign languages, such as ASL (American Sign Language), or DGS (Deutsche Gebärdensprache). Secondly, in the sense of the hypothesis – an hypothesis to which observations on the language of deaf-mutes, too, might lead – that the original language of humankind was a language of gestures preceding vocal language. Thirdly, the past few decades have witnessed the emergence of increasingly extended research on the interplay of talk and spontaneous gesture. And fourthly, we are acquainted with various cultures of handed-down, conventional gestures, such...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.