Behavioral and Brain Sciences

open peer commentary

language and the game of life

stevan harnad a1
a1 centre de neuroscience de la cognition, université du québec à montréal, montréal, québec h3c 3p8, canada


steels & belpaeme's (s&b's) simulations contain all the right components, but they are put together wrongly. color categories are unrepresentative of categories in general and language is not merely naming. language evolved because it provided a powerful new way to acquire categories (through instruction, rather than just the old way of other species, through trial-and-error experience). it did not evolve so that multiple agents looking at the same objects could let one another know which of the objects they had in mind, co-coining names for them on the fly.