Monday, May 21, 2012

What is the role of core knowledge in music and language?

From 29 May 2012 through 1 Jun 2012 at The Lorentz Center in Leiden the workshop Core Knowledge, Language and Culture will be held.

This workshop will address the relation between core knowledge, language, music, and culture, with a view to assessing the current understanding of these questions for a theory of the mind/brain. We hope that the participants – scholars from fields as diverse as psychology, linguistics, neurobiology, neurolinguistics, music cognition, and cognitive anthropology – will contribute to defining a research program that may address both new and as yet unresolved research questions in this area.

To give one example, it is puzzling that a notion such as recursion (and the cognate notions of Merge or successor function) seems to play a role in apparently unrelated domains such as number/arithmetics, language, and music. Both linguistic and nonlinguistic quantification seem to be built on shared primitives. Such issues are often related to the (dis)similarity or (dis)continuity between the animal and the human domain. The question arises whether core knowledge of number constitutes an intriguing exception to the discontinuity thesis, with potential ramifications for the representation of time and space in the spirit of Kant.

The organizers of the workshop will be pleased to facilitate an open and fruitful debate on these topics. See for more information the Lorentz Center website.

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