I have been waiting for some clever mails considering our
discussion... Anyway, I tried to re-read Tomasello and find something
worthwhile. I decided to omit all the words our "little brother " would
not accept. (I will put them into brackets) I had a hard time. I will
attempt to deal with the rest here.(There is not much left.)
> "human children grow up in the midst of (these socially and
> historically) constituted artifacts and traditions, which enables
> them to benefit from the accumulated knowledge and skills of their
> (socia)l groups"
I think this was one of our conclusions too when we talked about the
usefulness and importance of language for humans. Children do not have
to experience everything on their own. They can avoid making fatal
mistakes by learning from others. This process is quickened and made
effective by the use of language.
> "the (cultural) transmission of knowledge to children via
> linguistic communication"
So children can benefit from what they learn from others.
I put 'cultural' into brackets because it is on our black list but then I
found a possible definition or understanding.
> "Becoming a member of a culture means learning some
> new things from other people"
The question could be what he means by 'new things'. One explanation
may be the Istvan's definition for information. I have to admit that
Tomasello do not make this connection himself. It is just one possible
interpretation connecting Tomasello with the discussion. And so culture
would be the place where it takes place defining culture from the point
of view of the transmission of knowledge.
My point is that although Tomasello fails to prove what makes the
"species-unique aspects of human cognition", he redirects attention to
language acquisition as a field where the mediation of other people
bears importance. He attepts to form a theory as opposed to those who
consider language inborn.
What I really lack is the definition of language. There are some hints
in the text but they are rather vague and not convincing. So my final
question would still be what language is. At the seminars we just went
on and we did not define it after all.
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