biolinguistics


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biolinguistics

the study of the relations between physiology and speech. — biolinguist, n.
See also: Linguistics
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It is comprised of twenty-three papers and amounts to a snapshot of the issues and problems currently animating the field of biolinguistics, where language is understood as a biological system of the human mind/brain.
Of great significance is what Of Minds and Language reveals about Universal Grammar (UG) in contemporary biolinguistics.
However, while the book marks how interwoven biolinguistics has become with other natural sciences, there is little evidence that it is any closer to paradigmatically philosophical topics such as the mindworld relation or the possibility of normativity.
Key topics addressed include the ways in which Chomsky distinguishes between his own "rationalist" scientific approach to the sciences of language and mind versus the "empiricist" approach (which neither McGilvray nor Chomsky believe deserves the appellation), the growth of biolinguistics and Chomsky's role in its development, the importance of biolinguistics for understanding Chomsky's attempts to construct a science of human nature, how these issues are incorporated into Chomsky's "Enlightenment project" of coming to understand humans as natural objects with language and an innate moral sense, and the ways in which this project is connected to his political interventions.
To better examine why this is so, Fitch (Chapter 1) says we need to develop a better science of biolinguistics.