Natural Language and Possible Minds

How Language Uncovers the Cognitive Landscape of Nature


In Natural Language and Possible Minds: How Language Uncovers the Cognitive Landscape of Nature Prakash Mondal attempts to demonstrate that language can reveal the hidden logical texture of diverse types of mentality in non-humans, contrary to popular belief. The widely held assumption in mainstream cognitive science is that language being humanly unique introduces an anthropomorphic bias in investigations into the nature of other possible minds. This book turns this around by formulating a lattice of mental structures distilled from linguistic structures constituting the cognitive building blocks of an ensemble of biological entities/beings. This turns out to have surprising consequences for machine cognition as well. Challenging mainstream views, this book will appeal to cognitive scientists, philosophers of mind, linguists and also cognitive ethologists.
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Biographical Note

Prakash Mondal, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. He is the author of L anguage, Mind and Computation (Palgrave, 2014) and Language and Cognitive Structures of Emotion (Palgrave, 2016) and Language, Biology and Cognition (completed).

Table of contents


1 Introduction
 1.1 On Minds and Mental Structures
 1.2 A Note on the Methodology
 1.3 Why Natural Language?
 1.4 Summary

2 Natural Language and the Linguistic Foundations of Mind
 2.1 Language as a Window onto Thought and Reasoning
 2.2 Language as Conceptualization
 2.3 Language as a Mental Tool
 2.4 The Expressive Power of Natural Language and Ineffability
 2.5 Summary

3 Possible Minds from Natural Language
 3.1 Linguistic Structures and Mental Structures
 3.2 Mental Structures and the Forms of Possible Minds
 3.3 Summary

4 Natural Language, Machines and Minds
 4.1 Machines and Minds
 4.2 Computation and Natural Language
 4.3 Summary

5 Possible Minds and the Cognitive
 5.1 Summary

6 Conclusion


This book would be invaluable to theoretical cognitive scientists, linguists, philosophers of mind, cognitive ethologists, theoretical biologists, and to anyone who ponders how language illuminates the nature of minds.

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