Teaching philosophy and the biology of language

Philosophers sometimes speak as if there would be a word for language even if there were no language. In fact, we have no satisfactory account of what language is: the word merely specifies an accidentally evolved characteristic of human primates. As with other biological features we can best say what characteristic it is by saying how it evolved. This presentation will provide a general rather than a detailed technical account of how our ancestors acceded to linguisticity. In my opinion it ought to be a compulsory ingredient of every philosophy student’s undergraduate preparation.


Friday 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Room EDB 8620.2

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  • Ray Jennings