Re: Paper on chimp culture

t (Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be)
Fri, 25 Jun 1999 12:50:50 +0200

From: <Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 12:50:50 +0200
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Paper on chimp culture

Ilfryn PRICE wrote:

> Mark
>
> You have neatlyencapsulated what is IMO the fundamental (or at least a fundamental) 'chicken and egg' question in memetics.
>
> >My model is just a variation on
> >your 'singing ape' hypothesis. I reverse the causality, saying we 'talk
> >because ancient primates thought.'

> Your hypothesis suggests 'we think
> >because ancient primates sang.'

It is always a pity to see that someone who has read your article, misrepresents what it says. I'll blame it on ill writing.My
hypothesis is that we talk because early Homo sapiens (not ancient primates) sang (early Homo sapiens is some 500 000 years ago,
modern some 200 000 years ago, the latter date IMO being a good date for spoken language taking off.)
And that we can think much better because of talk, not that talk made thinking possible.
Not that we can think because we can speak (sing), only that thought becomes much more powerful because of spoken language (making
possible inner talk and more fine tuned exchange of information between individuals).
If you read my articles carefully (e.g. on experience, awareness and consciousness: http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/EAC.html)
you will notice that I am the last to say that animals do not think.

> Seems to me there is plenty of room for
> >dialog.

Seems to me that we largely agree, except that you don't see spoken language as important in increasing thinking possibilities.

>
>
> It is easy to conceive of 'language' 9sensu lato) as a product of 'thoughts', i.e part of the phenotype through which
> internalised memes replicate. The alternative position is that thoughts and minds are languaged into existence, in essence the
> mind becomes the extended phentoype of 'language'. Now a question to the list
>
> I have a memory of reading about a school of psychology, rather than philosophy, concerning minds / mental representations
> being the product of conversations we have with ourselves as much as others, but I have forgottrn the reference. Can anyone
> help?
>
> If
>
> _____________________________________________________________
>
> If Price
> Co-director
> Facilities Management Graduate Centre
> Sheffield Hallam University
> Unit 7, Science Park, Sheffield S1 1WB
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>
> ===============================================================
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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--
Mario Vaneechoutte
Department Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology & Immunology
University Hospital
De Pintelaan 185
9000 GENT
Belgium
Phone: +32 9 240 36 92
Fax: +32 9 240 36 59

Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be

http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/Index.html

=============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit