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By J. Canfield

This e-book 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 spiritual perfect of a go back to Eden, it has a philosophical anthropology process. It presents an account of our position in nature in step 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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Or, in the instance of the baby’s stopping to make eye contact: take up the routine of your responding to my crawling to the stairs and climbing them. The gestures are a stylized overlay upon the prior naturally existing interaction pattern. A further and crucial stylization is made within the same proto-forms: One-word language-games develop from within the proto-type or its gestural embellishment. The word is no mere gesture-like stylization of the foundational proto-behavior. The word qua symbol-token is so stylized that its connection with the job it performs is purely conventional, and in that sense arbitrary.

14 Here I agree with Stephen C. ”15 To take my previous example, speech-act theory will note such a phenomenon as that of intention-utterance, but without looking into its constituent details; so my previous comments apply here too. On the account I will spell out in the next chapter, gestures and interaction routines are precursors of early speech-customs. That proposal may appear old hat, already developed by numerous writers: for example, by Vygotsky, by Lock and others’ similar work on the “guided reinvention of language,” by Jerome Bruner’s studies of language acquisition, or by recent writings in pragmatics and human ethology.

18 Bruner’s approach is similar to Lock’s. ”19 That “referential intersubjectivity” is exactly the mentalist journey, via meanings and reference, from one mind to another. In Bruner’s case, a pre-linguistic basis for it resides in the child’s intentions, treated as mental entities. ). The intentions in question presumably manifest themselves in the child’s earliest communications—being established through mother–child “formats”— and subsequently ground the child’s full-blown use of referential language.

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