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Darwinism and Language

  • Fred D’Agostino
Part of the Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 2)

Abstract

Interaction between Darwinian accounts of organic evolution and the scientific study of language has crystallized in two important episodes in the history of ideas. The first of these episodes occurred during Darwin’s own lifetime, while the second is associated with Chomsky’s recent speculations about the nature of human language. Each of these episodes is of independent interest, since, in each case, it has been alleged that facts about human language pose a prima facie difficulty for evolutionary theory. But these episodes are perhaps of even greater interest for what they jointly reveal about the origin and continuing influence of a common misinterpretation of Darwinian theory. Although I will treat these two episodes separately, I will also try to reveal their conceptual similarities and connections.

Keywords

Continuity Theorist Human Language Communicative Capacity Darwinian Theory Theoretical Premise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred D’Agostino
    • 1
  1. 1.The Australian National UniversityAustralia

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