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Evidence, Experiment and Argument in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language

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Edited By Martin Hinton

This volume is concerned with issues in experimental philosophy and experimental linguistics. Examining experiments in language from a variety of perspectives, it asks what form they should take and what should count as evidence. There is particular focus on the status of linguistic intuitions and the use of language corpora. A number of papers address issues of methodology in experimental work, while other contributions examine the use of thought experiments and what the hypothetical can tell us about the actual. The aim of this collection is to bring together the work of linguists and philosophers in order that they may learn from one another, and to help both groups understand how the use of experimental methods can affect the arguments they employ and the claims they make.
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Arkadiusz Gut & Michał Wilczewski - The Role of Language in the Emergence of Mature Belief Reasoning and Social Cognition

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Arkadiusz Gut

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Michał Wilczewski

University of Warsaw

The Role of Language in the Emergence of Mature Belief Reasoning and Social Cognition1

1. Introduction

Developmental literature on mindreading has identified different lines of evidence to link the understanding of mental states and language (Doherty and Perner 1998; Malle 2002; Ruffman, Slade and Crowe 2002; Astington and Baird 2005; Harris, de Rosnay and Pons 2005; Apperly et al. 2006; Kamawar and Olson 2009; de Villiers and de Villers 2014). Numerous research programmes have been proposed in order to show that language is involved in the ability to reason about beliefs. Much empirical research has concentrated the debate, on the one hand, on the possible ways to determine and describe mechanisms by means of which language helps children understand key aspects of mental states, and, on the other hand, on establishing a theoretical framework which would enable us to resolve the matter of whether the data justify talking about a causal role for language in the development of mature belief reasoning (Astington 2000; Astington and Baird 2005; de Villiers and de Villers 2014). In most cases, in order to leave the stage of registering essential correlations, both appropriate metaphors, serving to characterize the role of language in the emergence of the ability to mindread (e.g. LANGUAGE IS A TOOL KIT, LANGUAGE IS A VEHICLE, A CATEGORY MAKER, etc.), and appropriate analogies...

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