Language Primacy: Cognition or Communication

As I am busy researching, this will likely be short. It would be even shorter without this preamble.

In researching the literature for my insufficiciency of language hypothesis, I am reading Fodor and Reboul to try to better grasp the evolutionary function of language. Both rely on the Theory of Mind. It seems that the more accepted theory is the language primarily evolved for communication as a survival mechanism. However, Fodor defends that cognition was the primary function and communicated was exapted. Carruthers contributes to the Language of Thought domain.

As I’ve presented here in dribs and drabs, my insufficiency theory of language argues that language is ill-suited for the communication of abstract concepts. It is fine for expression; communication of situational objects, inventions, and motion, description; and argumentation. But imagined concepts such as fairness, justive, and freedom don’t hold water. As I’ve discussed this hertofore in detail, I’ll not repeat myself.

Confirmation bias notwithstanding, the primacy of cognition better explains why abstract conceptual communication so often fails. Language has been stretched beyond its boundary constraints, and the air is thin past that.

I’m not sure I am willing to choose a side quite yet. Rather, I’ll note the different perspectives and move on. The underlying mechanism is less important to me than the empirical deductions that follow.

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