The set of design features developed by Charles Hockett in the 1950s and 1960s remains probably the most influential means of juxtaposing animal communication with human language. However, the general theoretical perspective of Hockett is largely incompatible with that of modern language evolution research. Consequently, we argue that his classificatory system—while useful for some descriptive purposes—is of very limited use as a theoretical framework for evolutionary linguistics. We see this incompatibility as related to the ontology of language, i.e. deriving from (...) Hockett’s interest in language as a product rather than a suite of sensorimotor, cognitive and social abilities that enable the use but also acquisition of language by biological creatures. After a reconstruction of Hockett’s views on design features, we raise two criticisms: focus on the means at the expense of content and focus on the code itself rather than the cognitive abilities of its users. Finally, referring to empirical data, we illustrate some of the problems resulting from Hockett’s approach by addressing three specific points—namely arbitrariness and semanticity, cultural transmission, and displacement—and show how the change of perspective allows to overcome those difficulties. (shrink)
We present a new road map for research on “How the Brain Got Language” that adopts an EvoDevoSocio perspective and highlights comparative neuroprimatology – the comparative study of brain, behavior and communication in extant monkeys and great apes – as providing a key grounding for hypotheses on the last common ancestor of humans and monkeys and chimpanzees and the processes which guided the evolution LCA-m → LCA-c → protohumans → H. sapiens. Such research constrains and is constrained by analysis of (...) the subsequent, primarily cultural, evolution of H. sapiens which yielded cultures involving the rich use of language. (shrink)
Politeness in conversation is a fascinating aspect of human interaction that directly interfaces language use and human social behavior more generally. We show how game theory, as a higher-order theory of behavior, can provide the tools to understand and model polite behavior. The recently proposed responsibility exchange theory :313–344, 2019) describes how the polite communications of thanking and apologizing impact two different types of an agent’s social image: warmth and competence. Here, we extend this approach in several ways, most importantly (...) by adding a cultural-evolutionary dynamics that makes it possible to investigate the evolutionary stability of politeness strategies. Our analysis shows that in a society of agents who value status-related traits over reciprocity-related traits, both the less and the more polite strategies are maintained in cycles of cultural-evolutionary change. (shrink)
In this highly original account of Bishop George Berkeley's epistemological and metaphysical theories, George S. Pappas seeks to determine precisely what doctrines the philosopher held and what arguments he put forward to support them. Specifically, Pappas overturns accepted opinions about Berkeley's famous attack on the Lockean doctrine of abstract ideas. Berkeley's criticism of these ideas had been thought relevant only to his views on language and to his nominalism; Pappas persuasively argues that Berkeley's ideas about abstraction are crucial to nearly (...) all of the fundamental principles that he defends. Pappas demonstrates how an adequate appreciation of Berkeley's views on abstraction can lead to an improved understanding of his important principle of esse is percipi, and of the arguments Berkeley proposes in support of this principle. Pappas also takes up Berkeley's widely rejected claim to be a philosopher of common sense. He assesses the validity of this self-description and considers why Berkeley might have chosen to align himself with a commonsense position. Pappas shows how three core concepts—abstraction, perception, and common sense—are central to and interdependent in the work of one of the major figures of early modern Western thought. (shrink)
Stages on Life's Way, the sequel to Either/Or, is an intensely poetic example of Kierkegaard's vision of the three stages, or spheres, of existence: the esthetic, the ethical, and the religious. With characteristic love for mystification, he presents the work as a bundle of documents fallen by chance into the hands of "Hilarius Bookbinder," who prepared them for printing. The book begins with a banquet scene patterned on Plato's Symposium. (George Brandes maintained that "one must recognize with amazement that it (...) holds its own in this comparison.") Next is a discourse by "Judge William" in praise of marriage "in answer to objections." The remainder of the volume, almost two-thirds of the whole, is the diary of a young man, discovered by "Frater Taciturnus," who was deeply in love but felt compelled to break his engagement. The work closes with a letter to the reader from Taciturnus on the three "existence-spheres" represented by the three parts of the book. Stages on Life's Way not only repeats themes, characters, and pseudonymous authors of the earlier works but also goes beyond them and points to further development of central ideas in Concluding Unscientific Postscript. (shrink)
This book is a succinct guide to Søren Kierkegaard’s contribution to educational thought. Kierkegaard is not usually known as an educational thinker, but the book shows how his key notions and ideas are nevertheless highly relevant to educational theory and practice. It places them within the context of Kierkegaard’s philosophy and the philosophy of his time, while also exploring their significance to issues of contemporary concern, like the question of how far education should aim at fostering useful skills or support (...) more ambitious goals. The central topics are Kierkegaard’s diagnosis of the limitations of objective knowledge and his corresponding emphasis on know-how, personal appropriation and subjective attitude; his analysis of more or less successful forms of self-realization; his ideas about fostering personal development through “indirect communication” and dialogue; and the elements, strengths and shortcomings of the ideal of self-cultivation. (shrink)
A layman's guide to the mechanics of Gödel's proof together with a lucid discussion of the issues which it raises. Includes an essay discussing the significance of Gödel's work in the light of Wittgenstein's criticisms.
This volume gathers together for the first time are all the key texts in a crucial debate in modern philosophy, centered on Leibniz's famous 1695 essay, the "New System of the Nature of Substances and their Communication," in which he introduced his strikingly original theory of metaphysics. His "system" became increasingly famous and drew him into discussion and development of these ideas, both in public and in private, with a variety of thinkers, most notably the great French philosopher Pierre Bayle. (...) Woolhouse's and Francks's new English edition gives the only full representation of this debate, and will therefore be essential reading for anyone who wishes to gain a proper understanding of Leibniz's philosophy and its intelletual context. All the texts are newly translated and extensively annotated; many appear in English for the first time. (shrink)
Peter S. Fosl offers a radical interpretation of Hume as a thoroughgoing sceptic on epistemological, metaphysical and doxastic grounds. He first contextualises Hume's thought in the sceptical tradition and goes on to interpret the conceptual apparatus of his work - including the Treatise, Enquiries, Essays, History, Dialogues and letters.
This book presents a new and radical interpretation of some of Martin Heidegger’s most influential texts. The unfamiliar interpretations all seek to question and unframe hasty assessments of the concepts and constellations of thoughts surrounding Heidegger’s notion of modern technology.
One of the greatest of modern philosophers, on a par with his contemporary John Locke, Leibniz was born in Leipzig in 1646, died in Hanover in 1716. He was a leading figure in European intellectual circles, and the founder of the Academy of Berlin. His strange, complex metaphysical system established him as the third of the great 'Rationalists', after Descartes and Spinoza. Along with the 'New System', his most famous philosophical works are the Discourse of Metaphysics and Monadology. He also (...) made important contributions to logic, mathematics, theology, jurisprudence, and history.Gathered here for the first time are all the key texts in a crucial debate in modern philosophy, centred on Leibniz's famous 1695 essay, the `New System of the Nature of Substances and their Communication'. In this classic essay Leibniz introduced to a broad European readership the strikingly original metaphysical ideas he had come to a decade earlier. His 'system' became increasingly famous and drew him into discussion and development of these ideas, both in public and in private, with a variety of thinkers: Simon Foucher; Henri Basbage de Beauval; Francois Lamy; Isaac Jacquelot; the Englishwoman Damaris Masham; Pierre Desmaizeaux; René Joseph de Tournemine; and most notably the great French philosopher and scholar Pierre Bayle. (shrink)
STEPHEN TOULMIN George Santayana used to insist that those who are ignorant of the history of thought are doomed to re-enact it. To this we can add a corollary: that those who are ignorant of the context of ideas are doom ed to misunderstand them. In a few self-contained fields such as pure mathematics, concepts and conceptual systems can perhaps be de tached from their historico-cultural situations; so that (for instance) a self-taught Ramanujan, living alone in India, mastered number theory (...) to a point at which he could make major contributions to European mathematics. But elsewhere the situation is different - and, in philosophy, inevitably so. For philosophical ideas and problems confront us like geological specimens in situ; and, in the act of prising them free from their historical and cultural locations, we can too easily forget about the matrix in which they took shape, and end by impossing on them a sculptural form of our own making. Something of this kind has happened in the case of Ludwig Wittgen stein. For his philosophical work has commonly been seen as an episode in the development, either of mathematicallogic, or oftwentieth-century British philosophy. His associations with Frege and Russell, Moore and Waismann, have over-shadowed everything else in his cultural origins and intellectual concerns. (shrink)
S. A. Lloyd proposes a radically new interpretation of Hobbes's Leviathan that shows transcendent interests - interests that override the fear of death - to be crucial to both Hobbes's analysis of social disorder and his proposed remedy to it. Most previous commentators in the analytic philosophical tradition have argued that Hobbes thought that credible threats of physical force could be sufficient to deter people from political insurrection. Professor Lloyd convincingly shows that because Hobbes took the transcendence of religious and (...) moral interests seriously, he never believed that mere physical force could ensure social order. Lloyd's interpretation demonstrates the ineliminability of that half of Leviathan devoted to religion, and attributes to Hobbes a much more plausible conception of human nature than the narrow psychological egoism traditionally attributed to Hobbes. (shrink)
Language Origins.Sławomir Wacewicz & Przemysław Żywiczyński - 2018 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 19 (1-2):167-182.details
In this paper, we complement proximate or ‘how’ explanations for the origins of language, broadening our perspective to include fitness-consequences explanations, i.e. ultimate, or ‘why’ explanations. We identify the platform of trust as a fundamental prerequisite for the development of a language-like system of symbolic communication. The platform of trust is a social niche in which cheap but honest communication with non-kin is possible, because messages tend to be trusted as a default. We briefly consider the place of the platform (...) of trust on the road map as laid out in the Mirror System Hypothesis. We then turn to recent research on turn-taking in primates, which has been proposed as a precursor of the cooperative structuring of conversation in humans. We suggest, instead, that human turn-taking, in its full richness that makes it an interesting explanatory target, may only appear in a communicative system that is already founded on a community-wide, cooperative platform of trust. (shrink)
In this reprint of Law's Empire,Ronald Dworkin reflects on the nature of the law, its given authority, its application in democracy, the prominent role of interpretation in judgement, and the relations of lawmakers and lawgivers to the community on whose behalf they pronounce. For that community, Law's Empire provides a judicious and coherent introduction to the place of law in our lives.Previously Published by Harper Collins. Reprinted by Hart Publishing.
Recent Anglophone scholarship has successfully shown that Nietzsche's thought makes important contributions to a wide range of contemporary philosophical debates. In so doing, however, scholarship has lost sight of another important feature of Nietzsche's project, namely his desire to challenge the very conception of philosophy that has been used to assess his merits as a philosopher. In other words, contemporary scholarship has overlooked Nietzsche's contributions to metaphilosophy, i.e. debates around the nature, methods, and aims of philosophy. This important new collection (...) of essays brings together an international group of distinguished scholars to explore and discuss these contributions and debates. It will appeal to anyone interested in metaphilosophy, Nietzsche studies, German studies, or intellectual history. (shrink)
Prefaces was the last of four books by Søren Kierkegaard to appear within two weeks in June 1844. Three Upbuilding Discourses and Philosophical Fragments were published first, followed by The Concept of Anxiety and its companion--published on the same day--the comically ironic Prefaces. Presented as a set of prefaces without a book to follow, this work is a satire on literary life in nineteenth-century Copenhagen, a lampoon of Danish Hegelianism, and a prefiguring of Kierkegaard's final collision with Danish Christendom. Shortly (...) after publishing Prefaces, Kierkegaard began to prepare Writing Sampler as a sequel. Writing Sampler considers the same themes taken up in Prefaces but in yet a more ironical and satirical vein. Although Writing Sampler remained unpublished during his lifetime, it is presented here as Kierkegaard originally envisioned it, in the company of Prefaces. (shrink)
In this study of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Paul S. Loeb proposes a fresh account of the relation between the book's literary and philosophical aspects and argues that the book's narrative is designed to embody and exhibit the truth of eternal recurrence. Loeb shows how Nietzsche constructed a unified and complete plot in which the protagonist dies, experiences a deathbed revelation of his endlessly repeating life, and then returns to his identical life so as to recollect this revelation and gain (...) a power over time that advances him beyond the human. Through close textual analysis and careful attention to Nietzsche's use of Platonic, biblical, and Wagnerian themes, Loeb explains how this novel design is the key to solving the many riddles of Thus Spoke Zarathustra - including its controversial fourth part, its obscure concept of the Übermensch, and its relation to Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals. (shrink)
R. S. Peters on Education and Ethics reissues seven titles from Peters' life's work. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the books are concerned with the philosophy of education and ethics. Topics include moral education and learning, authority and responsibility, psychology and ethical development and ideas on motivation amongst others. The books discuss more traditional theories and philosophical thinkers as well as exploring later ideas in a way which makes the subjects they discuss still relevant today.
The incidental writings of Søren Kierkegaard, published in the twenty-volume Danish edition of the Papirer, provide direct access to the thought of the many-faceted nineteenth-century philosopher who exerted so profound an influence on Protestant theology and modern existentialism. This important material, which Danish scholars regard as the "key to the scriptures" of Kierkegaard’s other work, spans his entire productive life, the last entry of the Papirer being dated only a few days before his death. These writings have been previously inaccessible (...) in English except for a few fragmentary selections; the most significant writings are now being made available in this definitive seven-volume edition under the editorship of two expert scholars and translators. The editors group the selections in Volumes I through IV by theme, with all entries on a given subject under the same heading. Within subject headings, entries are arranged chronologically, making it feasible to trace the evolution of Kierkegaard’s thought on a specific topic. Volumes V and VI are devoted to autobiographical material. Volume VII contains an extensive index with topical crossreferences. (shrink)
This work is intended as an introduction to the study of Soviet psy chology. In it we have tried to present the main lines of Soviet psycho logical theory, in particular, the philosophical principles on which that theory is founded. There are surprisingly few books in English on Soviet psychology, or, indeed, in any Western European language. The works that exist usually take the form of symposia or are collections of articles translated from Soviet periodicals. The most important of these (...) are Psychology in the Soviet Union (ed. by Brian Simon), Recent Soviet Psychology (ed. by Neil O'Connor) and Soviet Psychology, A Symposium (ed. by Ralf Winn). Raymond Bauer has also edited an interesting symposium entitled Some Views on Soviet Psychology. Only two systematic studies of Soviet psychology have been published to date: Joseph Wortis' Soviet Psychiatry and Raymond Bauer's The New Man in Soviet Psychology. Both are valuable introductions to Soviet psychology; Bauer's book, in particular, gives a good account of the debates on psychological theory in the Soviet Union in the nineteen twenties and -thirties. Both, however, are somewhat out of date. There are also a number of interesting articles written by Ivan D. London and Gregory Razran, which give general surveys of particular periods or aspects of Soviet psychology. These have been listed in the bibliography. (shrink)
While perhaps best known for his Lives, Plutarch also wrote philosophical dialogues that constitute a major intellectual legacy from the first century A.D. This collection presents two important short works from his writings in moral philosophy. They reveal Plutarch at his best--informative, sympathetic, rich in narrative--and are accompanied by an extensive commentary that situates Plutarch and his views on marriage in their historical context.
Collingwood’s “Libellus de Generatione: An Essay in Absolute Empiricism” was a tract of strenuous philosophical revisionism; never published, perhaps unpublishable, supposedly destroyed, it survived. He begins by stressing his obligations to David Hume; he offers his thematic: “absolute denial of any such concept as substance and the resolution of all reality into the reality of experience.” “The reality of mind is the process of its experience, its life, and nothing else”. Or, “the mind is a mirror... whose being is solely (...) the activity of reflecting”; it has no “substance of its own of which this activity is only a reflection”. Collingwood’s entire career as student and teacher... (shrink)
Among Plato's works, the Statesman is usually seen as transitional between the Republic and the Laws. This book argues that the dialogue deserves a special place of its own. Whereas Plato is usually thought of as defending unchanging knowledge, Dr Lane demonstrates how, by placing change at the heart of political affairs, Plato reconceives the link between knowledge and authority. The statesman is shown to master the timing of affairs of state, and to use this expertise in managing the conflict (...) of opposed civic factions. To this political argument corresponds a methodological approach which is seen to rely not only on the familiar method of 'division', but equally on the unfamiliar centrality of the use of 'example'. The demonstration that method and politics are interrelated transforms our understanding of the Statesman and its fellow dialogues. (shrink)
G. E. Moore observed that to assert, 'I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don't believe that I did' would be 'absurd'. Over half a century later, such sayings continue to perplex philosophers. In the definitive treatment of the famous paradox, Green and Williams explain its history and relevance and present new essays by leading thinkers in the area.
Just as some types of philosophical analysis are more useful than others to historians or political scientists, so, I find, are some sorts of historical research more useful to philosophers than are other sorts. Sommerville makes history useful to non-historians by clarifying the large-scale historical background against which his investigative questions are posed, and then separating out crucial figures, ideas, and events from arcana of interest primarily to specialist historians. His interpretations are relatively neutral, striking a welcome balance between mere (...) reporting of events or textual ideas on the one hand, and on the other, accounts so theoretically laden that they prejudge or foreclose promising interpretive possibilities. (shrink)
Papers delivered at the joint meeting of the Hegel Society of America and the Hegel Society of Great Britain held at Merton College, Oxford, Sept. 1-4, 1981, to mark the 150th anniversary of Hegel's death. Includes bibliographical references and index.