Metaphysics

Becoming Human: The Development of Language, Self, and by J. Canfield

By J. Canfield

This ebook is a philosophical exam of the phases in our trip from hominid to human. facing the character and beginning of language, self-consciousness, and the non secular perfect of a go back to Eden, it has a philosophical anthropology method. It presents an account of our position in nature in keeping with either empiricism and mysticism.

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Extra resources for Becoming Human: The Development of Language, Self, and Self-Consciousness

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Instead of looking at the concrete and simple from the vantage point of the abstract, examine and come to understand the abstract in terms of the simple and concrete. And specifically, in terms of examples of simple language-use. ” His emphasis on simple examples is evident at many places; it is seen in his practice of philosophy when he turns to simple imagined 26 Becoming Human examples, and when he urges us, at numerous points, to consider how a child might learn a given concept. ’ ”7 What the child first learns will presumably be simple.

In the examples of words having a use, speech is communal in that it functions to elicit a response from the hearer. Thus the point or function of the child’s intention-utterance is to alert the hearer to what the child is about, in order to bring out some appropriate reaction from the hearer. So too a one-word refusal has a point; and so on. Family resemblance But this “and so on” is suspicious. We may get the idea that we are here covertly assuming the existence of common, essential properties that define “language,” and which are such that anything lacking them fails to be language.

Acquiring a first language is thus straightforwardly a matter of acculturation, the coming to a command of various convention-governed ways of interacting. The primary concern of the final two parts of this chapter is to present some observations drawn from a diary study of a child coming to a mastery of language. I do so in order to provide a rich and detailed series of examples, the contemplation of which allows us to see more deeply into the nature of speech. Two early language-games Requests Wild chimpanzees engage in proto language-games of requests.

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