The Sequential Imperative

General Cognitive Principles and the Structure of Behaviour

Series:

In The Sequential Imperative William Edmondson explains how deep study of linguistics – from phonetics to pragmatics – can be the basis for understanding the organization of behaviour in any organism with a brain. The work demonstrates that Cognitive Science needs to be anchored in a linguistic setting. Only then can Cognitive Scientists reach out to reconsider the nature of consciousness and to appreciate the functionality of all brains.

The core functionality of the brain – any brain, any species, any time – is delivery and management of the unavoidable bi-directional transformation between brain states and activity – the Sequential Imperative. Making it all work requires some general cognitive principles and close attention to detail. The book sets out the case in broad terms but also incorporates significant detail where necessary.
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Biographical Note

William H. Edmondson Ph.D. (1974, Imperial College, London) is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow (School of Computer Science) at The University of Birmingham, UK. He has published on topics in Astrobiology, Cognitive Science, Speech Processing and Sign Language Linguistics.

Table of contents

Preface
List of Illustrations
Introduction

Part 1: The Sequential Imperative and the Functional Specification of the Brain


Introduction to Part 1
1 The Sequential Imperative – I
2 The Sequential Imperative – II
3 General Cognitive Principles

Part 2: Serving the Sequential Imperative


Introduction to Part 2
4 Structure in Language
5 Non-linear Phonology and Beyond
6 Building a Model

Part 3: Behaviour and Evolution – on and off Planet


Introduction to Part 3
7 Management of the Sequential Imperative
8 Issues in Evolution and Language
9 Language and Consciousness: What is it like to be an ETI ?

Afterword
References
Index

Readership

The Sequential Imperative is of interest to Cognitive Science students, graduates, and researchers, especially linguists and philosophers. The well-informed general reader will find the material an interesting and challenging read.