Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Language, philosophy: language is a set of phonetic or written coded forms fixed at a time for the exchange of information or distinctions within a community whose members are able to recognize and interpret these forms as signs or symbols. In a wider sense, language is also a sign system, which can be processed by machines. See also communication, language rules, meaning, meaning change, information, signs, symbols, words, sentences, syntax, semantics, grammar, pragmatics, translation, interpretation, radical interpretation, indeterminacy.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Excerpt Meta data

Books on Amazon:
David Papineau
David Papineau Die Evolution des Zweck Mittel Denkens in D. Perler, M. Wild (Hg) Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt 2005

Perler I 284
Purpose-means-thinking/language/animal/Papineau: (also as "Spandrille", side effect): Thesis: supposedly purpose-means-thinking emerged in a piggyback manner with language in the evolution.
PapineauVs: danger of circularity: the primary biological purpose of language could be to increase the supply of information, but this would not help if the purpose-means-thinking had not already been developed.
Papineau: language could also have developed first as an instrument for passing on information. E.g. "A tiger approaches".
I 285
Problem/Papineau: to explain the last step: what is the additional biological pressure that led to the language with which general information are reported?
A) If for the purpose of facilitating the purpose-means-thinking, then the purpose-means-thinking is not a side effect. It might have been language-dependent.
B) If, on the other hand, language developed the ability to represent and process general information on an independent basis, there are further problems:
1. Why should language be selected for reporting and processing at all?
2. Fundamental: If language is independent of the purpose-means-thinking, then we need a story about how this independent ability is subsequently expanded as a side effect for the purpose-means-thinking.
The point is that the purpose-means-thinking must exercise a behavioral control.
I 286
The ability for general information processing must be able to add something to the set of dispositions: E.g.: "From now on only fish instead of meat", E.g. "At the next mailbox I will post the letter".
Without this, the purpose-means-thinking makes no difference for our actions.
I 286
Language/Purpose-Means-Thinking/Evolution/Papineau: Problem: how could a new way to change our behavior arise without a fundamental biological change? As a side effect? This is a pointless assumption. It must have brought the ability to develop new dispositions.
It is hard to imagine how this should have happened without biological selection.
I 287
But this is not yet an argument for a wholly separate mechanism for the purpose-means-thinking in the human brain.
Weaker: there could be some biological mechanism for the purpose-means-thinking, e.g. that the language has developed independently of the processing and reporting. Thereafter, further steps allow their outputs to influence the behavior.
I 290
Language/Evolution/Generality/Papineau: previously I distinguished the language for special facts from one for general facts. Perhaps the former has developed for communication, and the latter for the purpose-means-thinking. Or language for general facts has evolved under the co-evolutionary pressure of purpose-means-thinking and communication.
Presentation/figurative/Papineau: how could the results of the figurative representation gain the power to influence the already existing structures of the control of the action?
I 291
Perhaps from imitation of complex action sequences of others.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Papi I
D. Papineau
Thinking about Consciousness Oxford 2004

Tie I
D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg)
Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt 2005

> Counter arguments in relation to Language ...

Authors A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Z  

Concepts A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Z  

> Suggest your own contribution | > Suggest a correction | > Export as BibTeX Datei
Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-09-26