David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Logique Et Analyse 208:373-387 (2009)
Ever since Chomsky, language has become the paradigmatic example of an innate capacity. Infants of only a few months old are aware of the phonetic structure of their mother tongue, such as stress-patterns and phonemes. They can already discriminate words from non-words and acquire a feel for the grammatical structure months before they voice their first word. Language reliably develops not only in the face of poor linguistic input, but even without it. In recent years, several scholars have extended this uncontroversial view into the stronger claim that natural language is a human-speciﬁc adaptation. As I shall point out, this position is more problematic because of a lack of conceptual clarity over what human-specific cognitive adaptations are, and how they relate to modularity, the notion that mental phenomena arise from several domain-speciﬁc cognitive structures. The main aim of this paper is not to discuss whether or not language is an adaptation, but rather, to examine the concept of modularity with respect to
the evolution and development of natural language.
|Keywords||cognitive modularity language instinct innateness|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Philip Gerrans & Valerie E. Stone (2008). Generous or Parsimonious Cognitive Architecture? Cognitive Neuroscience and Theory of Mind. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (2):121-141.
William Marslen-Wilson & Lorraine Komisarjevsky Tyler (1987). Against Modularity. In Modularity In Knowledge Representation And Natural- Language Understanding. Cambridge: Mit Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1987). Modules, Frames, Fridgeons. In Modularity In Knowledge Representation And Natural-Language Understanding. Cambridge: Mit Press.
Clark H. Barrett & R. Kurzban (2006). Modularity in Cognition: Framing the Debate. Psychological Review 113:628-647.
Robert A. Wilson (2008). What Computers (Still, Still) Can't Do: Jerry Fodor on Computation and Modularity. In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), New Essays in Philosophy of Language and Mind.
Brian J. Scholl (1997). Neural Constraints on Cognitive Modularity? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):575-576.
Rosemary Varley & Michael Siegal (2002). Language, Cognition, and the Nature of Modularity: Evidence From Aphasia. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (6):702-703.
Keith Frankish (2012). Cognitive Capacities, Mental Modules, and Neural Regions. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (4):279-282.
Tyler Burge (1989). Marr's Theory of Vision. In Modularity in Knowledge Representation and Natural-Language Understanding. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Added to index2010-02-23
Total downloads159 ( #5,799 of 1,413,271 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #16,652 of 1,413,271 )
How can I increase my downloads?