David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):837-856 (2011)
In this paper, I speculate on imitation’s role in language development and, more significantly, on its connection to sexual selection. My analysis is grounded in an interpretation of Darwin’s Descent of Man . In addition to observing imitation’s role in language development according to the argument of the Descent , I explore the ability of human beings that allows for the imitation of both the beautiful and the terrible or repulsive. I suggest that humans, in their appreciation of the beautiful and formidable characters produced by a process of sexual selection, can appropriate these things in order to adorn themselves, thus imitating other non-human animals. This capacity points to a form of polymorphism manifest in human beings that is grounded in a psychological fluidity. Human beings, like birds, also have the power to use song in order to charm and challenge. Song and music provide the means by which imitation as seen in language development and sexual selection are intertwined, thus providing the important connection between the two main foci of my paper
|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
W. Tecumseh Fitch (2000). The Evolution of Speech: A Comparative Review. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (7):258-267.
John Richardson (2004). Nietzsche's New Darwinism. Oxford University Press.
D. Rees & Steven P. R. Rose (eds.) (2004). The New Brain Sciences: Perils and Prospects. Cambridge University Press.
Merlin W. Donald (2004). 2 The Definition of Human Nature. In D. Rees & Steven P. R. Rose (eds.), The New Brain Sciences: Perils and Prospects. Cambridge University Press 34.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Roberta L. Millstein (2012). Darwin's Explanation of Races by Means of Sexual Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (3):627-633.
Charles Darwin (1874). The Descent of Man. Prometheus Books.
David C. Geary (1998). Sexual Selection, the Division of Labor, and the Evolution of Sex Differences. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (3):444-447.
Paisley Livingston (1994). What is Mimetic Desire? Philosophical Psychology 7 (3):291 – 305.
Dietmar Todt (1998). Hierarchical Learning of Song in Birds: A Case of Vocal Imitation? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):702-703.
Peter Baumann (2007). Persons, Human Beings, and Respect. Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):5-17.
J. L. Nelson (1988). Animals, Handicapped Children and the Tragedy of Marginal Cases. Journal of Medical Ethics 14 (4):191-193.
David Papineau (2001). Human Minds. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press 159-183.
Richard Moore (2013). Imitation and Conventional Communication. Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):481-500.
Ansgar Beckermann (2010). Darwin – What If Man is Only an Animal, After All? Dialectica 64 (4):467-482.
John L. Locke & Barry Bogin (2006). Language and Life History: A New Perspective on the Development and Evolution of Human Language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (3):259-280.
Robert T. Pennock (1995). Moral Darwinism: Ethical Evidence for the Descent of Man. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):287-307.
Michael A. Arbib & James Bonaiuto (2007). From Grasping to Complex Imitation: Mirror Systems on the Path to Language. Mind and Society 7 (1):43-64.
Added to index2011-06-06
Total downloads13 ( #279,935 of 1,911,320 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #320,535 of 1,911,320 )
How can I increase my downloads?