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Grammar and Glamour of Cooperation

Lectures on the Philosophy of Mind, Language and Action


Szymon Wrobel

This book is a collection of essays, weaving together cognitive psychology, psycho-linguistics, developmental psychology, modern philosophy and behavioural sciences. It raises the question: how does grammar relate to our remarkable ability to cooperate for future needs? The author investigates the interconnections between the mechanisms governing cooperation and reciprocal altruism on the one hand and the capacity to generate an infinite range of expressions from a finite set of syntactically structured elements on the other. Based on these premises, the specific character of cognitive explanations, possible architectures of mind, non-formal grammar and tacit knowledge are explored. Furthermore the author deals with the role of conceptual representations in explaining grammar, the modular structure of mind and the evolutionary origins of human language ability and moral authority.
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II. Rethinking Language Faculty. Has Language Evolved for Other than Language Related Reasons?


In exploring the problem of language evolution, it is important to distinguish between questions concerning language as a communicative system and questions concerning the computations underlying this system, such as those underlying recursion. As we argue be low, many acrimonious debates in this field have been launched by a failure to distinguish between these problems.

Marc D. Hauser, Noam Chomsky, W. Tecumseh Fitch63

The most fundamental question in the study of the human language faculty is its place in the natural world: what kind of biological system it is, and how it relates to other systems in our own species and others.

Steven Pinker, Ray Jackendoff 64

The aim of this book is to think over again the meaning of language faculty and to provoke a discussion in order to define to what extent this concept allows to: (1) better understand the processes of the genesis of linguistic competence, (2) to precisely define the conceptual apparatus of contemporary psycholinguistics in order to break through the intuitive approach to concepts, (3) to give answer to the question of a more precise reconstruction of the pattern of evolution which led to the origin of language, and (4) to provide answer concerning the language architecture, that is, which project of linguistic machinery comprised ← 65 | 66 → in language faculty is most adequate for description and most fertile in terms of providing explanations?

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