David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):291-301 (2009)
Noam Chomsky’s well-known claim that linguistics is a “branch of cognitive psychology” has generated a great deal of dissent—not from linguists or psychologists, but from philosophers. Jerrold Katz, Scott Soames, Michael Devitt, and Kim Sterelny have presented a number of arguments, intended to show that this Chomskian hypothesis is incorrect. On both sides of this debate, two distinct issues are often conflated: (1) the ontological status of language and (2) the relation between psychology and linguistics. The ontological issue is, I will argue, not the relevant issue in the debate. Even if this Chomskian position on the ontology of language is false, linguistics may still be a subfield of psychology if the relevant methods in linguistic theory construction are psychological. Two options are open to the philosopher who denies Chomskian conceptualism: linguistic nominalism or linguistic platonism. The former position holds that syntactic, semantic, and phonological properties are primarily properties, not of mental representations, but rather of public languagesentence tokens; The latter position holds that the linguistic properties are properties of public language sentence types. I will argue that both of these positions are compatible with Chomsky’s claim that linguistics is a branch of psychology, and the arguments that have been given for nominalism and platonism do not establish that linguistics and psychology are distinct disciplines
|Keywords||linguistics psychology ontology methodology Noam Chomsky Jerrold Katz Michael Devitt|
|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
Gergo Somodi (2009). Ignorance Radicalized. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2):140-156.
M. J. Cain (2010). Linguistics, Psychology and the Scientific Study of Language. Dialectica 64 (3):385-404.
Michael Devitt (2006). Ignorance of Language. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Peter Slezak (2009). Linguistic Explanation and ‘Psychological Reality’. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):3-20.
Robert J. Matthews (2006). Could Competent Speakers Really Be Ignorant of Their Language? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):457-467.
Hayley G. Davis (2003). Rethinking Linguistics. Routledgecurzon.
Michael Devitt (2003). Linguistics is Not Psychology. In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of Language. Oxford University Press.
Guy Longworth (2009). Ignorance of Linguistics: A Note on Devitt's Ignorance of Language. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1):21-34.
Anat Ninio (2006). Language and the Learning Curve: A New Theory of Syntactic Development. Oup Oxford.
Stephen Laurence (2003). Is Linguistics a Branch of Psychology? In A. Barbar (ed.), The Epistemology of Language. Oup.
Michael Devitt (2010). Linguistic Intuitions Revisited. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):833 - 865.
Barry C. Smith (2006). Why We Still Need Knowledge of Language. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (18):431-457.
Karol Janicki (2006). Language Misconceived: Arguing for Applied Cognitive Sociolinguistics. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads135 ( #10,325 of 1,696,615 )
Recent downloads (6 months)61 ( #2,618 of 1,696,615 )
How can I increase my downloads?