November 15, 2007

Language, Consciousness & Culture

In Language, Consciousness, Culture: Essays on Mental Structure (2007), Ray Jackendoff offers several strong arguments for the value of investigating cognition in terms of mental structures.

Jackendoff traces how linguistics has gradually evolved as a discipline since 1960's and how an understanding of "mental structures" through linguistics can contribute to modern cognitive science. Jackendoff concludes the book with an attempt to suggest an "integral approach" to restore the value of linguistics to other cognitive sciences by bringing together three founding themes of generative grammar: mentalism, combinatoriality, and acquisition.

This book has significant relevance for an integrated theory of human psychology, especially in the areas of worldview constitution, structures of consciousness and the analysis of memes & values. The type and substance of Jackendoff’s rigorous mainstream research can go a long way towards a more evidence-based Integral Psychology.

"Ray Jackendoff may be the deepest and widest-ranging scholar writing on language and mind today." --Steven Pinker (Harvard University)


Samuel Gray said...

This book sounds very interesting. Is Jackendoff's thesis that a deeper understanding of linguistics will lead to a more integral understanding of cognitive science?

... said...

Jakendoff's thesis is that understanding linguistics IS integral TO cognitive science.

And as such, he offers his own 'integrative' approach to understanding the relationships between 'mind' and 'language'...

The nuances here are important!


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