Meaning audio

The audio resources on this page are all from day 3 of the Middle Way Study Retreat in August 2013. The talk, on meaning, includes sections on why the traditional split between cognitive and emotive meaning is a bad idea, the embodied meaning thesis, the bad effects of representationalist ways of thinking (whereby meaning is a representation in your mind of what’s out there), archetypal meaning, and how meaning can be integrated. Many of the sections also include related bits of discussion that have been spliced onto the end of the relevant section of the talk.

 

1. Cognitive and emotive meaning (and why they cannot be separated)

Why meaning is an important subject that relates to other issues and enshrines false dichotomies. At the basis of these false dichotomies is the split between cognitive meaning (‘dictionary meaning’) and emotive meaning (‘meaning of life meaning’). In our experience, no such split occurs.

1. Cognitive and emotive meaning as audio only:

Download audio: 3.1 Cognitive and emotive meaning

 

2. The embodied view of meaning

Explains the embodied meaning theory of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. This provides an alternative way of understanding meaning based on our bodies that has huge implications for our thinking.

2. The embodied view of meaning as audio only:

Download audio: 3_2_The_embodied_view_of_meaning

 

3. The trouble with representationalism

Explains some of the negative effects of representationalism (the traditional theory of meaning that is not embodied) on philosophy, religion and ritual.

3. The trouble with representationalism as audio only:

Download audio: 3_3_The_trouble_with_representationalism

 

4. Dogmatic representations and objective emotions

Continues the criticism of representationalism, showing its link to metaphysics. Discussion of the way this blocks understanding of the objectivity of emotion.

4. Dogmatic representations and objective emotions as audio only:

Download audio: 3_4_Dogmatic representations and objective emotions

 

5. Fragmentation and integration of meaning

How meanings can be fragmented just as desires can be in conflict, and how they can also be integrated.

5. Fragmentation and integration of meaning as audio only:

Download audio: 3_5_Fragmentation_of_meaning

 

6. Archetypes

An introduction to archetypes. What Jung calls ‘resolved’ archetypes are also integrated ones.

6. Archetypes as audio only:

Download audio: 3_6_Archetypes

 

7. Integrating meaning through the arts and meditation

How practice can help to integrate meaning.

7. Integrating meaning through the arts and meditation as audio only:

Download audio: 3_7_Integrating_meaning_with_the_arts and meditation

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