Against Thatcherite linguistics: Rule-following, speech communities, and biolanguage
Southern Journal of Philosophy
© 2018 The University of Memphis.
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 05 June 2020 in compliance with publisher policy.
According to Chomsky and his followers, language as a biological phenomenon is a property of individual minds and brains; its status as a social phenomenon is merely epiphenomenal, and not a proper object of scientific study. On a rival view, the individual's biological capacity for language cannot be properly understood in isolation from the linguistic environment, which it both depends on for its operation and – in collaboration with other speakers – builds and shapes for future generations. I argue here for the rival view by demonstrating firstly its greater consonance with several themes in current biological theory, and secondly its ability to answer two wellknown philosophical challenges to generative linguistics due to Quine and Kripke.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 56 (2), pp. 163-192.