Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol I - Theoretical Prerequisites
Ronald W. Langacker, 1987

Iconoclasm and Promises
At this point, having just read chapter 1, I would say that this book begins with iconoclasm and promises. I am in sympathy with the iconoclasm and look forward to what is promised.

Experience is What the Brain Does
Langacker has no problem moving from a description of neural activity to the statement that
this constitutes experience . Take note Searle , Chalmers , Tye , others who are puzzled by the nature of experience. Langacker has no need to posit another intermediate layer. He does not stop to ponder that the neural activity CAUSES something else to happen which, in turn, is the experience.

Exact Comparison?
this section , Langacker uses the term "identical" to describe the results of various comparisons. Surely, he would agree that the essence of such comparisons is a result of "nearly" identical, and of differences which are "near" zero, rather then being exactly zero. In the section on Structure, we find a paragraph which discusses closure and this central issue, that the "full mental experience is this elicited despite the imperfections of the input."

Autonomous Emotions?
Damasio and Johnston would debate that emotions are inherently autonomous . Both authors thoroughly document that emotions include an external or display component as well as an internal or conscious component. Still, this fine point does not detract from Langacker's claims.

Top of Page | FCG1 Summary | Sort by Topic | Sort by Title | Sort by Author