Crossing the symbolic threshold: A critical review of Terrence Deacon's the symbolic species [Book Review]

Philosophical Psychology 15 (2):155 – 171 (2002)
Abstract
Terrence Deacon's views about the origin of language are based on a particular notion of a symbol. While the notion is derived from Peirce's semiotics, it diverges from that source and needs to be investigated on its own terms in order to evaluate the idea that the human species has crossed the symbolic threshold. Deacon's view is defended from the view that symbols in the animal world are widespread and from the extreme connectionist view that they are not even to be found in humans. Deacon's treatment of symbols involves a form of holism, as a symbol needs to be part of a system of symbols. He also appears to take a realist view of symbols. That combination of holism and realism makes the threshold a sharp threshold, which makes it hard to explain how the threshold was crossed. This difficulty is overcome if we take a mild realist position towards symbols, in the style of Dennett. Mild realism allows intermediate stages in the crossing but does not undermine Deacon's claim that the threshold is difficult to cross or the claim that it needs to be crossed quickly.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,074
External links
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
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

4 ( #255,805 of 1,101,578 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #292,059 of 1,101,578 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.