By Benjamin K. Bergen
Basic Books, $27.99, 312 pages
How the mind makes meaning is a concept that has baffled psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and other scientists devoted to understanding the human condition. It has only been in the last half of the twentieth century that certain individuals have gleaned an insight to this tangle of scientific studies.
Louder Than Words by Benjamin K. Bergen, is an attempt to put it all together, giving what he describes as embodied cognition meaning. He digs beneath the obvious nature of language to see how we turn sounds into meaning that may be transferred from person to person. He does this with a witty, entertaining and engaging style that forces us to reflect on the dynamics of human thought processes.
Above all else, Bergen talks a lot about meaning. It seems that meaning is the vehicle of human interaction and language is the medium we use to convey it. He has something important to say and he says it with a unique alacrity—separating him from the noise and circumstance of the world at large.
Reviewed by D. Wayne Dworsky
- Release Date: 11/1/2012