[percy-l] Play As A Precursor To Language?
PARLINS at culver.org
Fri Dec 13 14:40:28 EST 2002
Isn't that enough symbolism to constitute consciousness - a "knowing" of a
"world" in which they created through they're symbolic play-fight?
Hmmmm... first I don't think I follow the use of the word "symbolism" in
here. What are you suggesting is being symbolized? And, what is the "world"
you refer to? Regardless, that a chimp or any animal (Cats play too, as do
dogs, as do birds, as do any number of creatures) interacts or behaves in a
variety of complex manners does not necessitate consciousness or the knowing
of a world. Cats "know" (sort of) not to bite too hard when they are
playing, but that sort of "knowing" is not qualitatively different than
"knowing" not to leap from the roof or when to cross the street. Further,
"worlds" are not created by symbols as if out of nothingness. If that were
true, that worlds or consciousnesses were merely the sum total of our
abstract representations, we could not think without words, which is absurd.
We do it all the time.
From: Joseph Cimino [mailto:evopsych at hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 6:05 PM
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [percy-l] Play As A Precursor To Language?
Many animals play. Especially chimps. They play a lot, and they're arguably
the most intelligent non-human animals. And when they do play, it looks a
lot like fighting, but its not. In the example of play, "fighting" is not
fighting, but the opposite. The chimps understand that their actions, while
seemingly violent, are actually affectionate. Isn't that enough symbolism to
constitute consciousness - a "knowing" of a "world" in which they created
through they're symbolic play-fight?
And if these chimps are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, and we
have language, and the they do not, then might play be a precursor to
language? Or, perhaps even an example of language?
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