Mind and Language : Evolution in Contemporary Theories of Cognition

Dissertation, University of Stellenbosch (2006)

Tanya de Villiers-Botha
University of Stellenbosch
This thesis gives an historical overview of some of the issues connecting philosophy of mind and philosophy of langauge in the twentieth century, especially with regard to the relevance of both disciplines to theories of cognition. Specifically, the interrelation between the theories of Peirce,Chomsky, Derrida, and Deacon are discussed. Furthermore, an overview of twentieth century views on mind in both philosophy and the cognitive sciences is given. The argument is made that many of the apparently insurmountable issues that plague theories on mind and cognition today can be traced back to the metaphysical mould into which the philosophical questions at issue here were cast. Also, despite current resistance to the idea from many philosophical quarters, a case is made for approaching language and mind in terms of neo-Darwinist evolutionary theory
Keywords Mind  Language  Evolution  Peirce  Derrida  Chomsky  Deacon  Cognitive science
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