David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Human syntactic language has no close parallels in other systems of animal communication. Yet it seems to be an important part of the cultural adaptation that serves to make humans the earth’s dominant organism. Why is language restricted to humans given that communication seems to be so useful? We argue that language is part of human cooperation. We talk because others can normally trust what we say to be useful to them, not just to us. Models of gene-culture coevolution give one plausible explanation for how language, cooperative institutions, and the genetic basis for both could have evolved. Why did the coevolutionary process come to rest leaving a huge space for the cultural evolution of language? We argue that language diversity functions to limit communication between people who cannot freely trust one another or where even truthful communications from others would result in maladaptive behavior on the part of listeners.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Steven Pinker (2005). The Nature of the Language Faculty and its Implications for Evolution of Language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky). Cognition 97 (2):211-225.
Ray Jackendoff (2005). The Nature of the Language Faculty and its Implications for Evolution of Language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky). Cognition 97 (2):211-225.
Robert C. Richardson (1996). The Prospects for an Evolutionary Psychology: Human Language and Human Reasoning. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 6 (4):541-557.
Eleanor D. Helms (2008). Language and Responsibility. Environmental Philosophy 5 (1):23-36.
Gregory Radick (2008). Race and Language in the Darwinian Tradition (and What Darwin's Language–Species Parallels Have to Do with It). Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (3):359-370.
Robert M. Seyfarth (2005). Continuities in Vocal Communication Argue Against a Gestural Origin of Language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):144-145.
Added to index2009-06-30
Total downloads70 ( #40,009 of 1,707,759 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #63,246 of 1,707,759 )
How can I increase my downloads?