A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

Chimpanzee language: Communication gestures translated
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Researchers say they have translated the meaning of gestures that wild chimpanzees use to communicate. They say wild chimps communicate 19 specific messages to one another with a “lexicon” of 66 gestures. The scientists discovered this by following and filming communities of chimps in Uganda, and examining more than 5,000 incidents of these meaningful exchanges. The research is published in the journal Current Biology. (via BBC News - Chimpanzee language: Communication gestures translated)

Believing that the language we speak profoundly affects how we view the world, he writes, “forces us into endless contradictions, unwitting disparagement of billions of the world’s human beings, and even cartoonish perspectives about ourselves.”

John H. McWhorter’s The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language is reviewed in the Chronicle of Higher Education. (via oupacademic)
Language, Metaphor, and Reality

Michael Erard, Maurice Glasman, Hilary Lawson. Joanna Kavenna hosts.

The relationship of language to the world has been central to philosophy for at least a century. But what is the role of metaphor? Is it simply an adornment to everyday description or might it be central to explaining how we conceive of and create reality?

The Panel

Political theorist and labour peer Maurice Glasman, language expert and metaphor designer Michael Erard, and post-postmodern Closure theorist Hilary Lawson debate the power of metaphors.

The Limits of My World

Hilary Lawson, Michael Potter, John Searle. Robert Rowland-Smith hosts.

Language has been the focus of philosophical enquiry for the last century. But was the ‘linguistic turn’ a wrong turn, leading to a barren discipline without ‘real world’ influence? Is it time for a fresh approach to the big issues, or would this be a capitulation to intellectual fantasy?

The Panel One of the world’s most influential analytic philosophers, John Searle, live from Berkeley, joins post-postmodernist