Why Peirce Matters: The Symbol in Deacon's Symbolic Species

Language Sciences 29 (1):88-108 (2007)

In "Why brains matter: an integrational perspective on The Symbolic Species" Cowley (2002) [Language Sciences 24, 73-95] suggests that Deacon pictures brains as being able to process words qua tokens, which he identifies as the theory's Achilles' heel. He goes on to argue that Deacon's thesis on the co-evolution of language and mind would benefit from an integrational approach. This paper argues that Cowley's criticism relies on an invalid understanding of Deacon's use the concept of "symbolic reference", which he appropriates from Peirce's semiotic. Peirce's analysis as well as Deacon's appropriation will be examined in detail. Consequently it will be argued that an integrationist reading would add very little to Deacon's core thesis.
Keywords Deacon T  Evolution  Peirce  Reference  Symbol
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,024
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Strategies of Governance.Roger Deacon - 1998 - Theoria 45 (92):113-149.
Human Rights as Imperialism.Roger Deacon - 2003 - Theoria 50 (102):126-138.
The Criterion of Habit in Peirce's Definitions of the Symbol.Winfried Nöth - 2010 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 46 (1):82-93.


Added to PP index

Total views
6 ( #813,563 of 2,320,215 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #823,483 of 2,320,215 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature