Advanced

Attention and tool-use in the evolution of language

Brinck, Ingar LU (1999) In Spinning Ideas- Electronic Essays Dedicated to Peter Gärdenfors on his fiftieth Birthday
Abstract
It is argued that the capacity to focus attention is crucial for intentional communication. Intentional communication is goal-intended; directed at changing mental states and as a consequence behaviour; about a referential object common to sender and recipient; and about objects that may be context-and referent-independent. Three different kinds of attention is discerned: scanning, attention attraction, and attention-focusing. The focus of attention can, depending on the abilities of the subject, be on objects or subjects that either are contextual or stable, and it can be individual or shared. For language use, subject-subject focusing along with shared attention are necessary. This does not require Gricean metarepresentations, but... (More)
It is argued that the capacity to focus attention is crucial for intentional communication. Intentional communication is goal-intended; directed at changing mental states and as a consequence behaviour; about a referential object common to sender and recipient; and about objects that may be context-and referent-independent. Three different kinds of attention is discerned: scanning, attention attraction, and attention-focusing. The focus of attention can, depending on the abilities of the subject, be on objects or subjects that either are contextual or stable, and it can be individual or shared. For language use, subject-subject focusing along with shared attention are necessary. This does not require Gricean metarepresentations, but basically only attention contact between the subjects and behavioral co-ordination. Language use can be compared with tool use to bring out the characteristics that distinguish informational from intentional communication. The capacities required for tool use are in several cases similar to those required for language use. A basic similarity is that both activities are used as means to an end. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
Intentionality, Intelligence, Perception, Reference, Tool use, Attention, Evolution of language, Communication
in
Spinning Ideas- Electronic Essays Dedicated to Peter Gärdenfors on his fiftieth Birthday
pages
20 pages
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
20c99122-3ec6-4697-a2fd-aa9539f45cea (old id 961071)
alternative location
http://www.lucs.lu.se/spinning/categories/language/Brinck/index.html
date added to LUP
2008-01-28 08:36:05
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:52:09
@misc{20c99122-3ec6-4697-a2fd-aa9539f45cea,
  abstract     = {It is argued that the capacity to focus attention is crucial for intentional communication. Intentional communication is goal-intended; directed at changing mental states and as a consequence behaviour; about a referential object common to sender and recipient; and about objects that may be context-and referent-independent. Three different kinds of attention is discerned: scanning, attention attraction, and attention-focusing. The focus of attention can, depending on the abilities of the subject, be on objects or subjects that either are contextual or stable, and it can be individual or shared. For language use, subject-subject focusing along with shared attention are necessary. This does not require Gricean metarepresentations, but basically only attention contact between the subjects and behavioral co-ordination. Language use can be compared with tool use to bring out the characteristics that distinguish informational from intentional communication. The capacities required for tool use are in several cases similar to those required for language use. A basic similarity is that both activities are used as means to an end.},
  author       = {Brinck, Ingar},
  keyword      = {Intentionality,Intelligence,Perception,Reference,Tool use,Attention,Evolution of language,Communication},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {20},
  series       = {Spinning Ideas- Electronic Essays Dedicated to Peter Gärdenfors on his fiftieth Birthday},
  title        = {Attention and tool-use in the evolution of language},
  year         = {1999},
}