Words And Rules Essay
Words And Rules
In the first chapter of “How the Mind Works” Pinker introduces the content of the book. He starts by comparing the mind and a robot. Pinker tries to analyze the characteristics of the mind in comparison to those of the robot. (Pinker, S, 2000:6) In his analysis the mind is the product of evolution over time. This is seen in what the mine has created during the evolution among which is the robot.
While the robot is programmed to perform specific acts, the mind thinks on its own. (Pinker, S, 2000:12) In the second chapter Pinker looks at the psychology of cognition. In his description these are the rules and the guiding principles that help the mind to recognize things. In “Words and Rules” Pinker starts by wondering about the mysteries of language. He looks at the arbitrary connection between the words and the meaning they make.
Since there is no connection, he says, then, the words we use must be guided by a set of rules deep in the mind. (Pinker, S, 2000:18) He later borrows the idea of Chomsky to imply that the rules that guide the use of words are a social phenomenon. The difference in use of language is based on creative use of the rules underlying the use of these languages. Bibliography Pinker, S, (2000), The Ingredients of Language. New York: Harper Perennial