Other Minds

Sergio Balari and Guillermo Lorenzo

in Computational Phenotypes

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199665464
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746116 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Biolinguistics

Other Minds

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This chapter defends the proposition that minds other than human are probably endowed with a system of computation homologous to that of FL in terms of computational complexity. It defends the idea that there exist three “loci” of diversification of homologous systems of computation: namely, (1) the degree of complexity attained in each particular case (as in the contrast between language and other primates' alarm systems); (2) the connections established between the computational system and other “external” (or “performance”) systems (as in the contrast between language and birds' knotting activities); or (3) a combination of (1) and (2) (as in the contrast between language and birdsong). The chapter concludes by suggesting that the model can be useful as a basis for a fresh approach to the Neanderthal question, in that it offers the opportunity to examine and interpret from a cognitive and linguistic point of view the archaeological record associated with this species.

Keywords: homology; animal cognition; vocal behavior; nest building; knots; complexity theory; Neanderthal mind

Chapter.  12563 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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