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Selected Books by Edmund Blair Bolles

  • Galileo's Commandment: 2500 Years of Great Science Writing
  • The Ice Finders: How a Poet, a Professor, and a Politician Discovered the Ice Age
  • Einstein Defiant: Genius vs Genius in the Quantum Revolution

« Memes Co-Evolve | Main | Does the Recapitulation Principle Apply? »



Is there any consensus on what protolanguage is? Bickerton has offered a half-dozen putative examples, all of which are different and have been shown to possess more structure than claimed. In the absence of a definition, what can we really say about it?
BLOGGER: Science often talks about things that are poorly defined. The hope is to study a phenomenon and come to understand it. Thus, the theory of evolution is older than Darwin, talk of gravity predated Newton, etc. Science is not math, which is indeed definition dependent.


It's not clear to me that syntax is a requirement, or even a decisive factor, in de-localizing reference. Well perhaps I should get hold of Deacon's text and that would make it clearer... I agree of course that syntax allows meanings to have a degree of complexity and clarity they cannot have without it. But absent reference? Not so clear to me. E.g., miming the sound of eating, in cartoon protolanguage, "yummy yummy", you are "referring" albeit in a vague sense to absent food, maybe even "signifying" it. But there is no syntax there, only a primitive lexis and the relevant situation.
BLOGGER: The issue of what's decisive in de-localizing/displacement is discussed in another presentation reported here under the heading "Simulation Suggests Steps to Speaking of the Unseen."


This idea belong to Breskin. “Triad method for studying the anthropology of language and art” published in Russian language by Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Science journal “Epistemology & Philosophy of Science” 2, v.16, 2008, 119-132, Moscow. ISSN 1811-833X T.Deacon must red this paper in Russian.
BLOGGER: The citation you give is dated 2008, but Deacon's book is 10 years older than that.

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