What is it about?
The problem of how human language relates to the human brain is deep enough. Mainstream thinking in linguistic and cognitive sciences supports the possibility of integration of language and linguistic cognition with brain structures. This article examines this view in depth and shows that this may be plausible in certain limited contexts but flawed in most others.
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Why is it important?
This work is significant in the context of current theoretical and empirical advances in bio-linguistics and cognitive science that appear to fail to take into due consideration the deep problems in relating human language to its neurobiology.
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This page is a summary of: Disunity with unity in cognition within the context of language–biology relations., Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, February 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
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Language, Biology and Cognition: A Critical Perspective
This book examines the relationship between human language and biology in order to determine whether the biological foundations of language can offer deep insights into the nature and form of language and linguistic cognition. Challenging the assumption in biolinguistics and neurolinguistics that natural language and linguistic cognition can be reconciled with neurobiology, the author argues that reducing representation to cognitive systems and cognitive systems to neural populations is reductive, leading to inferences about the cognitive basis of linguistic performance based on assuming (false) dependencies. Instead, he finds that biological implementations of cognitive rather than the biological structures themselves, are the driver behind linguistic structures. In particular, this book argues that the biological roots of language are useful only for an understanding of the emergence of linguistic capacity as a whole, but ultimately irrelevant to understanding the character of language. Offering an antidote to the current thinking embracing ‘biologism’ in linguistic sciences, it will be of interest to readers in linguistics, the cognitive and brain sciences, and the points at which these disciplines converge with the computer sciences.
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