Séminaire au DIC-ISC-CRIA: «From Whorf to Telepathy: How words structure and align our concepts» par Gary Lupyan
Séminaire ayant lieu dans le cadre du Doctorat en informatique cognitive, en alliance avec l'ISC et le CRIA
Titre : From Whorf to Telepathy: How words structure and align our concepts
Jeudi le 25 mars 2021 à 10h30
Lien zoom (pirère de bien identifier votre nom et prénom, une salle d'attente sera active): https://uqam.zoom.us/j/84473395235
That people are able to communicate on a wide range of topics with reasonable success is often taken as evidence that we have a largely overlapping conceptual repertoire. But where do our concepts come from and how similar are they, really? On one widespread view, humans are born with a core-knowledge system and a set of conceptual categories onto which words map. Alternatively, many of our concepts — including some that seem very basic — may derive from our experience with and use of language. On this view, language plays a key role in both constructing and aligning our conceptual spaces. I will argue in favor of the second view, present evidence for the causal role of language in categorization and reasoning, and describe what consequences this position has for the theoretical possibility of telepathy.
Gary Lupyan is a professor of psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He obtained his doctorate in 2007 at Carnegie Mellon with Jay McClelland, followed by postdocs in cognitive (neuro)science at Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania. At the center of his research interests is the question of whether and how our cognition and perception is augmented by language. What does language *do* for us? Other major research interests have spanned top-down effects in perception, the evolution of language, iconicity, and causes of linguistic diversity (do languages adapt to different socio-demographic environments?).