Chris Knight in Psychology colloquium

Posted on February 20, 2009 by


Via David Denison:

The speaker at next week´s Psychology research seminar
(Thursday 26th at 16.00 in the Turing room)
will be Professor Chris Knight, University of East London, who will talk about
“Chomsky vs. Darwin: Why both can´t be right”.

[posted on behalf of Simone Pika, Psychology]

Abstract below the fold:

Do humans have digital minds in an analog world? Is language a digital computational
module, as argued by Noam Chomsky? No-one has succeeded in reconciling this notion of
human uniqueness with Darwinian evolutionary theory. One way to escape the conundrums
inseparable from Chomsky’s position might be to keep the essential idea while reversing the
underlying philosophy. Humans have analog minds in a digital world. More accurately, just a
certain part of our world is digital. We are at one with our primate cousins in being immersed
in ordinary material and biological reality. Like them, we inhabit an analog world. But unlike
other primates, we humans have woven for ourselves an additional environment that is digital
through and through. ‘Analog minds in a digital world’ is fully compatible with Darwinian
evolutionary theory. ‘Digital minds in an analog world’ is not compatible at all.

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