Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (6):694-695 (2002)

Authors
Gerard O'Brien
University of Adelaide
Jonathan Opie
University of Adelaide
Abstract
Carruthers presents evidence concerning the cross-modular integration of information in human subjects which appears to support the “cognitive conception of language.” According to this conception, language is not just a means of communication, but also a representational medium of thought. However, Carruthers overlooks the possibility that language, in both its communicative and cognitive roles, is a nonrepresentational system of conventional signals – that words are not a medium we think in, but a tool we think with. The evidence he cites is equivocal when it comes to choosing between the cognitive conception and this radical communicative conception of language.
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DOI 10.1017/s0140525x02440125
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