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Origins of Human Communication

MIT Press (2008)

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  1. Gesten als Okkasionelle Bedeutungserfüllungen.Christian Ferencz-Flatz - 2022 - Husserl Studies 38 (1):1-16.
    This paper addresses the question of occasional expressions, as discussed by Husserl in his First and Sixth Logical Investigation in relation to the problem of gestures. It aims to show that gestures are intimately related to the use of occasional expressions and have an indispensible contribution to their understanding. In doing so, the paper points out an important lack in Husserl’s early theory of signification, which has to do with its exclusion of all aspects related to intersubjective communication. The paper (...)
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  • On the Phylogenesis of Executive Functions and Their Connection with Language Evolution.Adornetti Ines - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • The Aesthetic Habermas: Communicative Power and Judgment.Glenn Mackin - 2022 - Political Theory 50 (5):780-808.
    Since the publication of Between Facts and Norms, Habermas’s concept of communicative power has been the topic of significant discussion. This article contributes to this conversation by examining Habermas’s account of what makes communication powerful. I argue that Habermas’s conception of communicative power describes a nonviolent and noninstrumental mode of acting and being with others in language. This mode of engagement underwrites a conception of power that is structurally different from willing, one that builds meaningful worlds and forms those engaging (...)
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  • The Art Experience.Kate McCallum, Scott Mitchell & Thom Scott-Phillips - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):21-35.
    Art theory has consistently emphasised the importance of situational, cultural, institutional and historical factors in viewers’ experience of fine art. However, the link between this heavily context-dependent interpretation and the workings of the mind is often left unexamined. Drawing on relevance theory—a prominent, cogent and productive body of work in cognitive pragmatics—we here argue that fine art achieves its effects by prompting the use of cognitive processes that are more commonly employed in the interpretation of words and other stimuli presented (...)
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  • Le varietà del naturalismo.Gaia Bagnati, Alice Morelli & Melania Cassan (eds.) - 2019 - Edizioni Ca' Foscari.
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  • Communication and Content.Prashant Parikh - 2019 - Berlin, Germany: Language Science Press.
    Communication and content presents a comprehensive and foundational account of meaning based on new versions of situation theory and game theory. The literal and implied meanings of an utterance are derived from first principles assuming little more than the partial rationality of interacting agents. New analyses of a number of diverse phenomena – a wide notion of ambiguity and content encompassing phonetics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and beyond, vagueness, convention and conventional meaning, indeterminacy, universality, the role of truth in communication, semantic (...)
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  • From Things to Thinking: Cognitive Archaeology.Adrian Currie & Anton Killin - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):263-279.
    Cognitive archaeologists infer from material remains to the cognitive features of past societies. We characterize cognitive archaeology in terms of trace-based reasoning, which in the case of cognitive archaeology involves inferences drawing upon background theory linking objects from the archaeological record to cognitive features. We analyse such practices, examining work on cognitive evolution, language, and musicality. We argue that the central epistemic challenge for cognitive archaeology is often not a paucity of material remains, but insufficient constraint from cognitive theories. However, (...)
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  • The Evolution of Mind, Brain, and Culture.Gary Hatfield & Holly Pittman (eds.) - 2013 - University of Pennsylvania Press.
    Descartes boldly claimed: "I think, therefore I am." But one might well ask: Why do we think? How? When and why did our human ancestors develop language and culture? In other words, what makes the human mind human? _Evolution of Mind, Brain, and Culture_ offers a comprehensive and scientific investigation of these perennial questions. Fourteen essays bring together the work of archaeologists, cultural and physical anthropologists, psychologists, philosophers, geneticists, a neuroscientist, and an environmental scientist to explore the evolution of the (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Geometry I: The Problem of Exactness.Anne Newstead & Franklin James - 2010 - Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science 2009.
    We show how an epistemology informed by cognitive science promises to shed light on an ancient problem in the philosophy of mathematics: the problem of exactness. The problem of exactness arises because geometrical knowledge is thought to concern perfect geometrical forms, whereas the embodiment of such forms in the natural world may be imperfect. There thus arises an apparent mismatch between mathematical concepts and physical reality. We propose that the problem can be solved by emphasizing the ways in which the (...)
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  • From Body to Language: Gestural and Pantomimic Scenarios of Language Origin in the Enlightenment.Przemysław Żywiczyński & Sławomir Wacewicz - 2022 - Topoi 41 (3):539-549.
    Gestural and pantomimic accounts of language origins propose that language did not develop directly from ape vocalisations, but rather that its emergence was preceded by an intervening stage of bodily-visual communication, during which our ancestors communicated with their hands, arms, and the entire body. Gestural and pantomimic scenarios are again becoming popular in language evolution research, but this line of thought has a long and interesting history that gained special prominence in the Enlightenment, often considered the golden age of glottogony. (...)
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  • Pointing: A Gesture That Makes Us Special?Massimiliano Lorenzo Cappuccio - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (24).
    We call those gestures “instrumental” that can enhance certain thinking processes of an agent by offering him representational models of his actions in a virtual space of imaginary performative possibilities. We argue that pointing is an instrumental gesture in that it represents geometrical information on one’s own gaze direction, and provides a ritualized template for initiating gaze coordination and joint attention. We counter two possible objections, asserting respectively that the representational content of pointing is not constitutive, but derived from language, (...)
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  • Constructing the Context Through Goals and Schemata: Top-Down Processes in Comprehension and Beyond.Marco Mazzone - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    My main purpose here is to provide an account of context selection in utterance understanding in terms of the role played by schemata and goals in top-down processing. The general idea is that information is organized hierarchically, with items iteratively organized in chunks—here called “schemata”—at multiple levels, so that the activation of any items spreads to schemata that are the most accessible due to previous experience. The activation of a schema, in turn, activates its other components, so as to predict (...)
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  • Two Types of Implicature: Material and Behavioural.Mark Jary - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (5):638-660.
    This article argues that what Grice termed ‘particularized conversational implicatures’ can be divided into two types. In some cases, it is possible to reconstruct the inference from the explicit content of the utterance to the implicature without employing a premise to the effect that that the speaker expressed that content (by means of an utterance). I call these ‘material implicatures’. Those whose reconstruction relies on a premise about the speaker's verbal behaviour, by contrast, I call ‘behavioural implicatures’. After showing that (...)
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  • Travelling in Time and Space at the Origins of Language.Francesco Ferretti - 2014 - Humana Mente 7 (27).
    In this paper we propose a narrative hypothesis on the nature of language and a proto-discursive hypothesis on the origin of our communicative abilities. Our proposal is based on two assumptions. The first assumption, concerning the properties of language, is tied to the idea that global discourse coherence governs the origin of our communicative abilities as well the functioning of these abilities. The second assumption, concerning processing devices, is connected to the idea that the systems of spatial and temporal navigation (...)
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  • Animal Biopolitics: How Animals Vote.Antonino Pennisi & Laura Giallongo - 2018 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 31 (3):491-499.
    The social research about group decision-making in the human societies has received recent contributions from studies reached in the field of ethology and Game theory. Comparative data revealed the adoption of symbolic systems for vote expression and the consensus achievement in other social species. The wide diffusion of the voting procedure—as a sign of an ecological rationality– in species with different social organizations and cognitive levels, requires a new interpretation of the consensus issue assuming a new evolutionary biopolitical perspective, for (...)
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  • Why Darwinians Should Not Be Afraid of Mary Douglas—And Vice Versa: The Case of Disgust.Andreas De Block & Stefaan E. Cuypers - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (4):459-488.
    Evolutionary psychology and human sociobiology often reject the mere possibility of symbolic causality. Conversely, theories in which symbolic causality plays a central role tend to be both anti-nativist and anti-evolutionary. This article sketches how these apparent scientific rivals can be reconciled in the study of disgust. First, we argue that there are no good philosophical or evolutionary reasons to assume that symbolic causality is impossible. Then, we examine to what extent symbolic causality can be part of the theoretical toolbox of (...)
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  • Evolutionary Hypotheses and Moral Skepticism.Jessica Isserow - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1025-1045.
    Proponents of evolutionary debunking arguments aim to show that certain genealogical explanations of our moral faculties, if true, undermine our claim to moral knowledge. Criticisms of these arguments generally take the debunker’s genealogical explanation for granted. The task of the anti-debunker is thought to be that of reconciling the truth of this hypothesis with moral knowledge. In this paper, I shift the critical focus instead to the debunker’s empirical hypothesis and argue that the skeptical strength of an evolutionary debunking argument (...)
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  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Psychological Science.Katherine Nelson - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (3):263-272.
    The field of psychology has emphasized quantitative laboratory research as a defining character of its role as a science, and has generally de-emphasized qualitative research and theorizing throughout its history. This article reviews some of the effects of this emphasis in two areas, intelligence testing, and learning and memory. On one side, quantitative measurement produced the widely used IQ test but shed little light on the construct of intelligence and its role in human cognition. On the other side, reductive quantification (...)
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  • The Paradox of Social Interaction: Shared Intentionality, We-Reasoning, and Virtual Bargaining.Nick Chater, Hossam Zeitoun & Tigran A. Melkonyan - forthcoming - Psychological Review.
    Social interaction is both ubiquitous and central to understanding human behavior. Such interactions depend, we argue, on shared intentionality: the parties must form a common understanding of an ambiguous interaction. Yet how can shared intentionality arise? Many well-known accounts of social cognition, including those involving “mind-reading,” typically fall into circularity and/or regress. For example, A’s beliefs and behavior may depend on her prediction of B’s beliefs and behavior, but B’s beliefs and behavior depend in turn on her prediction of A’s (...)
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  • Where Did Language Come From? Connecting Sign, Song, and Speech in Hominin Evolution.Anton Killin - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):759-778.
    Recently theorists have developed competing accounts of the origins and nature of protolanguage and the subsequent evolution of language. Debate over these accounts is lively. Participants ask: Is music a direct precursor of language? Were the first languages gestural? Or is language continuous with primate vocalizations, such as the alarm calls of vervets? In this article I survey the leading hypotheses and lines of evidence, favouring a largely gestural conception of protolanguage. However, the “sticking point” of gestural accounts, to use (...)
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  • A Glass Half-Full: Brian Skyrms's Signals.Kim Sterelny - 2012 - Economics and Philosophy 28 (1):73-86.
    ExtractBrian Skyrms's Signals has the virtues familiar from his Evolution of the Social Contract and The Stag Hunt. He begins with a very simple model of agents in interaction, and in a series of brief and beautifully clear chapters, this model and its successors are explored, elaborated, connected and illustrated through biological theory and the social sciences. Signals borrows its core model from David Lewis: it is Lewis's signalling game. In this game, two agents interact. One agent can observe which (...)
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  • Musical Affordances and the Transformation Into Structure: How Gadamer Can Complement Enactivist Perspectives on Music.Mattias Solli - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
    This paper investigates the phenomenological status of musical affordances through a Gadamerian focus on human communication. With an extra emphasis on Reybrouck’s much-cited affordance-driven theory, I locate fundamental premises in the affordance concept. By initiating a dialogue with Gadamer’s perspective, I suggest a slight yet important shift of perspective that allows us to see an autonomous, transformative, and intrinsically active ‘ideality’ potentially emerging in music. In the final section, I try to demonstrate how Gadamer’s perspective is supported by recent empirical (...)
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  • From Code to Speaker Meaning.Kim Sterelny - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):819-838.
    This paper has two aims. One is to defend an incrementalist view of the evolution of language, not from those who think that syntax could not evolve incrementally, but from those who defend a fundamental distinction between Gricean communication or ostensive inferential communication and code-based communication. The paper argues against this dichotomy, and sketches ways in which a code-based system could evolve into Gricean communication. The second is to assess the merits of the Sender–Receiver Framework, originally formulated by David Lewis, (...)
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  • Does Language Matter? Exploring Chinese–Korean Differences in Holistic Perception.Ann K. Rhode, Benjamin G. Voyer & Ilka H. Gleibs - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Building Machines That Learn and Think Like People.Brenden M. Lake, Tomer D. Ullman, Joshua B. Tenenbaum & Samuel J. Gershman - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
    Recent progress in artificial intelligence has renewed interest in building systems that learn and think like people. Many advances have come from using deep neural networks trained end-to-end in tasks such as object recognition, video games, and board games, achieving performance that equals or even beats that of humans in some respects. Despite their biological inspiration and performance achievements, these systems differ from human intelligence in crucial ways. We review progress in cognitive science suggesting that truly human-like learning and thinking (...)
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  • Conceptos, contenido y cognición: una propuesta comunitarista para la determinación del contenido.Erika Torres - 2020 - Dissertation, National Autonomous University of Mexico
    La tesis aborda uno de los temas centrales en la filosofía de la mente y las ciencias cognitivas: los conceptos como unidades básicas de la cognición humana. La tesis central que se defiende es que el contenido de los conceptos es determinado parcialmente por las comunidades a las que pertenecen los sujetos cognitivos, en la medida en la que dichas comunidades guían y constriñen las interacciones entre el sistema cognitivo conceptual y el entorno del que forma conceptos. La novedad de (...)
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  • The Evolution of Food Calls: Vocal Behaviour of Sooty Mangabeys in the Presence of Food.Fredy Quintero, Sonia Touitou, Martina Magris & Klaus Zuberbühler - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    The two main theories of food-associated calls in animals propose functions either in cooperative recruitment or competitive spacing. However, not all social animals produce food calls and it is largely unclear under what circumstances this call type evolves. Sooty mangabeys do not have food calls, but they frequently produce grunts during foraging, their most common vocalisation. We found that grunt rates were significantly higher when subjects were foraging in the group’s periphery and with small audiences, in line with the cooperative (...)
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  • Cumulative Cultural Evolution and the Origins of Language.Kim Sterelny - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (3):173-186.
    In this article, I present a substantive proposal about the timing and nature of the final stage of the evolution of full human language, the transition from so-called “protolanguage” to language, and on the origins of a simple protolanguage with structure and displaced reference; a proposal that depends on the idea that the initial expansion of communicative powers in our lineage involved a much expanded role for gesture and mime. But though it defends a substantive proposal, the article also defends (...)
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  • What Do We Know When We Learn the Meaning of Words?Antonio Scarafone - 2018 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio 12 (2):111-123.
    In this paper I will argue that, contrary to what most scholars are inclined to believe, there are important tensions between the later Wittgenstein’s views on language and Michael Tomasello’s usage-based theory of language acquisition. On one hand, Wittgenstein characterises the first steps into the acquisition of a first language as a matter of acquiring practical abilities, which, in an anti-intellectualistic vein, do not require any kind of knowledge. On the other hand, Tomasello employs a Gricean model of communication to (...)
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  • Gricean Communication and Cognitive Development.Richard Moore - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):pqw049.
    On standard readings of Grice, Gricean communication requires (a) possession of a concept of belief, (b) the ability to make complex inferences about others’ goal-directed behaviour, and (c) the ability to entertain fourth order meta-representations. To the extent that these abilities are pre-requisites of Gricean communication they are inconsistent with the view that Gricean communication could play a role in their development. In this paper, I argue that a class of ‘minimally Gricean acts’ satisfy the intentional structure described by Grice, (...)
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  • Defining Pantomime for Language Evolution Research.Przemysław Żywiczyński, Sławomir Wacewicz & Marta Sibierska - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):307-318.
    Although pantomimic scenarios recur in the most important historical as well as current accounts of language origins, a serious problem is the lack of a commonly accepted definition of “pantomime”. We scrutinise several areas of study, from theatre studies to semiotics to primatology, pointing to the differences in use that may give rise to misunderstandings, and working towards a set of definitional criteria of “pantomime” specifically useful for language evolution research. We arrive at a definition of pantomime as a communication (...)
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  • Coversheet for social inheritance and the social mind: Introduction to the synthese topical collection on the cultural evolution of human social cognition.Richard Moore & Rachael L. Brown - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-17.
    In this introduction to the Synthese SI: The Cultural Evolution of Human Social Cognition, we introduce some basic theoretical terms that will help readers to navigate the volume. Subsequently we describe the papers that make up the volume and draw attention to points of agreement and disagreement between the authors. We also identify a number of outstanding issues for the field of cultural evolution research. The papers in the volume can be divided into three sections: The Cultural Evolution of Mindreading, (...)
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  • Subjectivist Propaganda.Ramón Casares - manuscript
    Physicalism is the default position in science and in the philosophy of mind, but it should not be, I argue, because of two errors. By its epistemological error, physicalism gives physics priority over the evidence of first person experience. Only what I experience in first person is certain, so observation is prior to any theory. Physics itself is based on observation, avoiding the epistemological error, and then physics can progress, even changing its own ontology. However, physicalism imposes the ontology of (...)
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  • The ‘Sentient’ City and What It May Portend.Nigel Thrift - 2014 - Big Data and Society 1 (1).
    The claim is frequently made that, as cities become loaded up with information and communications technology and a resultant profusion of data, so they are becoming sentient. But what might this mean? This paper offers some insights into this claim by, first of all, reworking the notion of the social as a spatial complex of ‘outstincts’. That makes it possible, secondly, to reconsider what a city which is aware of itself might look like, both by examining what kinds of technological (...)
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  • Information, Influence, and the Causal-Explanatory Role of Content in Understanding Receiver Responses.David Kalkman - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1127-1150.
    Sceptics of informational terminology argue that by attributing content to signals, we fail to address nonhuman animal communication on its own terms. Primarily, we ignore that communication is sender driven: i.e. driven by the intrinsic physical properties of signals, themselves the result of selection pressures acting on signals to influence receivers in ways beneficial for senders. In contrast, information proponents argue that this ignores the degree to which communication is, in fact, receiver driven. The latter argue that an exclusive focus (...)
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  • New Problems for Defining Animal Communication in Informational Terms.David Kalkman - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3319-3336.
    Exactly what makes an interaction between two organisms a case of communication is contentious. Historically, debate has taken place between definitions of communication invoking information transmission vs definitions invoking causal influence. More recently, there has been some convergence on a hybrid definition: invoking causal influence mediated via the transmission of information. After proposing an understanding of what it means to say that a receiver is causally influenced by the transmission of information, I argue that an information-mediated influence definition overextends to (...)
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  • Musicality and the Evolution of Mind, Mimesis, and Entrainment: Gary Tomlinson: A Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity. Zone, New York, 2015.Anton Killin - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (3):421-434.
    In A Million Years of Music, Gary Tomlinson develops an extensive evolutionary narrative that emphasises several important components of human musicality and proposes a theory of the coalescence of these components. In this essay I tie some of Tomlinson’s ideas to five constraints on theories of music’s evolution. This provides the framework for organising my reconstruction of his model. Thereafter I focus on Tomlinson’s description of ‘entraining’ Acheulean toolmakers and offer several criticisms. I close with some tentative proposals for further (...)
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  • Language as a Values‐Realizing Activity: Caring, Acting, and Perceiving.Bert H. Hodges - 2015 - Zygon 50 (3):711-735.
    A problem for natural scientific accounts, psychology in particular, is the existence of value. An ecological account of values is reviewed and illustrated in three domains of research: carrying differing loads; negotiating social dilemmas involving agreement and disagreement; and timing the exposure of various visual presentations. Then it is applied in greater depth to the nature of language. As described and illustrated, values are ontological relationships that are neither subjective nor objective, but which constrain and obligate all significant animate activity (...)
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  • Experimental Design: Ethics, Integrity and the Scientific Method.Jonathan Lewis - 2020 - In Ron Iphofen (ed.), Handbook of Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 459-474.
    Experimental design is one aspect of a scientific method. A well-designed, properly conducted experiment aims to control variables in order to isolate and manipulate causal effects and thereby maximize internal validity, support causal inferences, and guarantee reliable results. Traditionally employed in the natural sciences, experimental design has become an important part of research in the social and behavioral sciences. Experimental methods are also endorsed as the most reliable guides to policy effectiveness. Through a discussion of some of the central concepts (...)
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  • The Imagination and Its Technological Destiny.Pietro Montani - 2020 - Open Philosophy 3 (1):187-201.
    The tradition of Kant’s critical philosophy developed the concept of imagination rigorously and productively. In this article, I shall defend the suitability of placing this concept in a paleoanthropological frame and linking it to the cognitive practices – predominantly sensorimotor, interactive and those directed at the emergence of technologies – which preceded and prepared for the advent of articulated speech. Special attention will be paid to the internalization processes of these practices and their effects on human conduct. On the basis (...)
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  • Pragmatic Interpretation and Signaler-Receiver Asymmetries in Animal Communication.Dorit Bar-On & Richard Moore - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews Jacob Beck (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge. pp. 291-300.
    Researchers have converged on the idea that a pragmatic understanding of communication can shed important light on the evolution of language. Accordingly, animal communication scientists have been keen to adopt insights from pragmatics research. Some authors couple their appeal to pragmatic aspects of communication with the claim that there are fundamental asymmetries between signalers and receivers in non-human animals. For example, in the case of primate vocal calls, signalers are said to produce signals unintentionally and mindlessly, whereas receivers are thought (...)
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  • The Bodily Other and Everyday Experience of the Lived Urban World.Oren Bader & Aya Peri Bader - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 3 (2):93-109.
    This article explores the relationship between the bodily presence of other humans in the lived urban world and the experience of everyday architecture. We suggest, from the perspectives of phenomenology and architecture, that being in the company of others changes the way the built environment appears to subjects, and that this enables us to perform simple daily tasks while still attending to the built environment. Our analysis shows that in mundane urban settings attending to the environment involves a unique attentional (...)
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  • How WEIRD is Cognitive Archaeology? Engaging with the Challenge of Cultural Variation and Sample Diversity.Anton Killin & Ross Pain - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-25.
    In their landmark 2010 paper, “The weirdest people in the world?”, Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan outlined a serious methodological problem for the psychological and behavioural sciences. Most of the studies produced in the field use people from Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic societies, yet inferences are often drawn to the species as a whole. In drawing such inferences, researchers implicitly assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that WEIRD populations are generally representative of the species. (...)
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  • For We Are Legion. Remarks on Searle’s Making the Social World. [REVIEW]George Tudorie - 2011 - Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations 13:67-81.
    This volume adds a largely redundant stratum to Searle’s effort to develop a systematic social ontology, a theory of the nature, kind or status of social entities. This has been one of Searle’s main concerns in the last two decades, and, while this thread of his work stands on the views about language and mind he developed since the 1960s, we can safely trace its origins to a paper published in 1990, “Collective Intentions and Actions” (Searle, 1990/2002). Beyond this early (...)
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  • This and That Revisited: A Social and Multimodal Approach to Spatial Demonstratives.David Peeters & Aslı Özyürek - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
  • How Institutions Work in Shared Intentionality and ‘We-Mode’ Social Cognition.Jeppe Sinding Jensen - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):301-312.
    The topics of social ontology, culture, and institutions constitute a problem complex that involves a broad range of human social and cultural cognitive capacities. We-mode social cognition and shared intentionality appear to be crucial in the formation of social ontology and social institutions, which, in turn, provide the bases for the social manifestation of collective and shared psychological attitudes. Humans have ‘hybrid minds’ that inhabit cultural–cognitive ecosystems. Essentially, these consist of social institutions and distributed cognition that afford the common grounds (...)
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  • The Time of the Self.Dan Zahavi - 2012 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 84 (1):143-159.
  • The Effects of Feature-Label-Order and Their Implications for Symbolic Learning.Michael Ramscar, Daniel Yarlett, Melody Dye, Katie Denny & Kirsten Thorpe - 2010 - Cognitive Science 34 (6):909-957.
    Symbols enable people to organize and communicate about the world. However, the ways in which symbolic knowledge is learned and then represented in the mind are poorly understood. We present a formal analysis of symbolic learning—in particular, word learning—in terms of prediction and cue competition, and we consider two possible ways in which symbols might be learned: by learning to predict a label from the features of objects and events in the world, and by learning to predict features from a (...)
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  • Intention, Emotion, and Action: A Neural Theory Based on Semantic Pointers.Tobias Schröder, Terrence C. Stewart & Paul Thagard - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (5):851-880.
    We propose a unified theory of intentions as neural processes that integrate representations of states of affairs, actions, and emotional evaluation. We show how this theory provides answers to philosophical questions about the concept of intention, psychological questions about human behavior, computational questions about the relations between belief and action, and neuroscientific questions about how the brain produces actions. Our theory of intention ties together biologically plausible mechanisms for belief, planning, and motor control. The computational feasibility of these mechanisms is (...)
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  • The Roles of Evolution in the Social Sciences: Is Biology Ballistic?Bradley Franks - 2014 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 44 (3):288-305.
    This paper discusses some widespread but often not fully articulated views concerning the possible roles of biology and evolution in the social sciences. Such views cluster around a set of intuitions that suggest that evolution's role is “ballistic”: it constitutes a starting point for mind that has been, and is, superseded by the role of culture and social construction. An implication is that evolved and the socially constructed aspects of mind are separable and independent, with the latter being the primary (...)
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