Nirmalangshu MukherjiOct 27, 2022
The Human Mind Through the Lens of Language
Bloomsbury Publishing 2022
Some time, millenia ago, people began using sounds: to coordinate, to solve problems, to think. Explaining this leap—from non-linguistic beings to language-users—Nirmalangshu Mukherji argues that we shouldn’t focus only on language. In The Human Mind through the Lens of Language: Generative Explorations (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022), Mukherji draws on resources like René Descartes’ conception of mind, proposing that the human mind is fundamentally different than animal cognitive systems. He grounds this distinction in what he calls “Principle G,” a recursive, generative ability underlying human language and other domains. Mukherji’s book takes up competing and compatible theories in cognitive science, linguistics, and philosophy, refining his conception of mind and language in conversation with Noam Chomsky, Jerry Fodor, Michael Corballis, and others.
Malcolm Keating is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit works of philosophy in Indian traditions, in the areas of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras & Stuff.