The joint study of language and music in fascinating. Both domains are unique to humans and are crucially linked to the expression of thought and emotion.
Nonetheless, there are significant differences in their structure, content and performance. How do we account for these opposing facts?
An attempt has been made here to set these facts in a proper theoretical perspective. Drawing on material from contemporary linguistic theory, and related areas of cognitive science and philosophy of mind, the author focuses on a possibly unifying concept-the concept of discrete infinity- and grounds this concept in 'Cartesian' theory of mind. He argues that some recent advances in linguistics, especially the concept of a computational system, could be viewed as a crucial step towards a unifying theory of language, music and related domains of discrete infinity.
The differences between the domains could then be relegated systematically to factors that lie outside (yet interact with) the core computational system. It follows that, to extent, the hypothesis of the modularity of language (or of music) is basically false.
The book will be of interest to philosophers, linguists, congnative scientists, musicologists and music-theorists, sociologists of knowledge and general readers interested in these classical issues.
About the Author:
NIRMALANGSHU MUKHERJI teaches Philosophy at Delhi University. He has also taught at the University of Waterloo, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and At Viswa bharati University among others. This monograph was written while he was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. Apart from articles in theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of of language, he has co-edited Noam Chomsky's The Architecture of Language, OUP. He has also published articles in moral philosophy and in political theory. He is currently working on a book titled The Primacy of Grammar.
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