The Embodiment of Knowing

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Abstract

This conceptual paper starts with an account of modern societies who turned to objects in order to escape their overwhelming surroundings. It tracks how these objects evolved into mobile digital devices that, in an attention economy, paradoxically became objects that overwhelm attention and hamper cognitive abilities, ultimately affecting students’ learning. Through a philosophical analysis of persuasion, these persuasive technologies are presented as the main cause of declining motivation in learning. A theory synthesis on the brain’s predisposition to simplify cognitive processes, in order not to be overwhelmed, warrants the ease in which persuasive technologies have led to digital dementia. It then presents the 4P taxonomy of the four types of knowing and the four general types of memory as method theories to support embodied cognition in education through the postulate that the body precedes the mind when it comes to learning. The analysis leads to the hypothesis that artificial intelligence (AI) affects students, not by providing certainty, but by eliminating uncertainty and concludes that learning is in the inherent embodied skills used to reduce uncertainty.