Mind Design And Minimal Syntax

Paperback | February 23, 2006

byWolfram Hinzen

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This book introduces generative grammar as an area of study and asks what it tells us about the human mind. Wolfram Hinzen lays the foundation for the unification of modern generative linguistics with the philosophies of mind and language. He introduces Chomsky's program of a 'minimalist'syntax as a novel explanatory vision of the human mind. He explains how the Minimalist Program originated in work in cognitive science, biology, linguistics, and philosophy, and examines its implications for work in these fields. He considers the way the human mind is designed when seen as anarrangement of structural patterns in nature, and argues that its design is the product not so much of adaptive evolutionary history as of principles and processes that are ahistorical and internalist in character. Linguistic meaning, he suggests, arises in the mind as a consequence of structuresemerging on formal rather than functional grounds. From this he substantiates an unexpected and deeply unfashionable notion of human nature. Clearly written in nontechnical language and assuming a limited knowledge of the fields it examines and links, Minimal Mind Design will appeal to a wide range of scholars in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science. It also provides an exceptionally clear insight into the nature and aims ofChomsky's Minimalist Program.

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This book introduces generative grammar as an area of study and asks what it tells us about the human mind. Wolfram Hinzen lays the foundation for the unification of modern generative linguistics with the philosophies of mind and language. He introduces Chomsky's program of a 'minimalist'syntax as a novel explanatory vision of the huma...

Wolfram Hinzen is a senior lecturer at the Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation and a member of the Cognitive Science Center at the University of Amsterdam. He was previously at the Institute for Philosophy, University of Regensburg. He is the co-editor with Hans Rott of Belief and Meaning: Essays at the Interface (Berlin: H...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.73 inPublished:February 23, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199289255

ISBN - 13:9780199289257

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsPart I: Naturally Human1. Introduction1.1. Humans as natural objects1.2. The study of human nature1.3. Human design1.4. The fate of human nature in the twentieth century2. Against metaphysical naturalism2.1. From methodological to metaphysical naturalism2.2. Rationalist method from Galileo to Chomsky2.3. Double standards3. Biological internalism3.1. Biology before unification3.2. Mind as function: A critique3.3. God or natural selection or . . . ?3.4. 3.4 Epilogue on explanation and necessityPart II: Deducing Variation4. Prior to function4.1. Language growth4.2. Language and communication4.3. Language as a social construct5. Beyond the autonomy of syntax5.1. What is syntax?5.2. Explanation in linguistic theory5.3. Human phrase structure5.4. Transforming the phrase5.5. Why is there movement?5.6. The proper interpretation of LF/SEMPart III: Rational Mind6. Good Design!6.1. Phases and cascades: Beyond LF6.2. Epistemology for mental organsConclusionsReferencesIndex