John Searle has long argued that the philosophy of language is a branch of the philosophy of mind. In his view the capacity of speech acts to represent and relate to reality derives from more biologically basic forms of intentionality, such as perception and action, which initially evolved to relate organisms directly to their environments. Searle’s naturalistic model of language, in order to be complete, requires a theory of how perception and action specifically give rise to linguistic meaning and interpretation. In this paper I argue that recent theoretical developments in cognitive linguistics and the emerging field of embodied cognition provide the needed empirical support for Searle’s perception-based account of linguistic intentionality. In particular I show how the related theses of embodied simulation, perceptual symbols theory, and Arthur Glenberg’s indexical hypothesis corroborate Searle’s semantic naturalism. The result is a model in which body, mind, world, and language comprise integrated aspects of a dynamic whole.

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