Prakash Mondal, "Language, Mind and Computation" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)


My instinct as a researcher is usually to shy away from confrontation about foundational issues in the philosophy of language, which is probably why I do what I do (that is to say, from a generative perspective, not linguistics). With a few notable exceptions, it's my impression that researchers tend either to keep quiet about their skepticism about some foundational matters, or to gravitate towards fields in which those issues are moot. In this respect,Prakash Mondal's approach inLanguage, Mind and Computation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) is an interesting and perhaps somewhat unusual one: his work attempts to interrogate rather closely the consequences of adopting some rather innocuous and widespread assumptions or axioms about the nature of language. In doing so, Mondal finds much to criticise, and ultimately argues for quite substantial departures from these assumptions. In this interview we only scratch the surface of his arguments, but I hope we get a decent impression of how his approach relates to the wider field, as well as a sketch of how it plays out in practice.

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Chris Cummins

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