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Language and the Mind

Narrated by: Spencer D. Kelly
Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Summary

What is our species' greatest invention? Medicine, computers, space travel? Not even close. The innovation that underlies each of our past achievements and those we still aspire to is language. Language is the ultimate invention of Homo sapiens - one that has allowed us to change the physical and social world around us in every conceivable way, and an invention that has fundamentally changed us, as well. Research has shown that whether we're sighted or blind, hearing or deaf, one or one hundred years old, communication through language is a fundamental part of what it means to be human. 

In 24 fascinating lectures, Dr. Spencer Kelly, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Colgate University, takes us on a fascinating journey into so many aspects of life we take for granted every day: our ability to remember the past and imagine a future, our use of hand gestures and facial expressions in communication, our capacity for storytelling, and so much more. You will explore fascinating questions, such as the origin of the human mind, what makes our communication so much different than other animals, whether or not language itself influences thought, and how babies learn their native language without direct teaching. You will follow along, finding yourself intrigued, surprised, and enthralled by it all because...you possess the power of language.

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  • Mike
  • 17-04-20

Well Thought, Well Spoken

In a course entitled "Language and the Mind", I was hoping to see research by Chomsky, Lakoff, and Dehaene. I was not disappointed, and you'll find all this and more here. I was even happily surprised to see Goodale's and Milner's famous Two Streams Hypothesis make an appearance, and not a brief one, being relevant to material from Lecture 14 onward. We even get discussion of work by McWhorter, and Chalmers' and Clark's Extended Mind is used throughout.

Not to say that all said research is taken at face value; Dr Kelly takes a nuanced and balanced approach which I very much appreciate. This is particularly true for his presentation of embodied "vs" representational cognition as related to language. I couldn't be happier with the scholarship or the presentation. Well thought. Well spoken :-)

22 people found this helpful