La natura del linguaggio: Un'ipotesi monista

Marcello Carlotti
2004 La Ricerca Folklorica  
In this article we suggest a way to settle the classical nature vs nurture debate through a naturalized idea of language's structures and functions. This idea involves two essential conditions: the first is that we must be able to describe the species-specificity of human language in naturalistic terms; the second is that we must estimate linguistic behaviors on the comparative basis of the adaptive selection, rather than referring only to their functional and social uses in human societies. In
more » ... human societies. In other words, if we are able to establish the ethologic species-specificity of language, then the resulting philosophy of language should take into account the "price of language", that is not only its "inner" potentials (traditionally described as "cultural"), but also its high "external" risks (traditionally considered as "natural"). In this work, we use the origin of human language as a way to show that the nature vs nurture debate is unfounded. The balance between what is conveyed by the phylogenetic structure and what is recapped at every ontogenetic restart can be different , but each animal species acquires and conveys data to co-specifics always using dedicated procedures: in biology culture is any mechanism that allows to acquire information from the members of one's own species through social systems. Thus, we can consider culture as an expression of the biological possibilities of Homo sapiens. Keywords: Nature vs nurture; evolution of language; species-specificity; eco-evodevo; anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism 1. Antropocentrismi «Ha ancora senso parlare oggi del concetto di cultura?» Non è, come potrebbe sembrare a prima vista, un ultras cognitivista o naturalista di qualche importante università americana o inglese a porsi oggi questa domanda: è, al contrario, il più cauto e autorevole degli antropologi culturali italiani, Francesco Remotti, nel suo ultimo libro dal significativo titolo: Cultura: dalla complessità all'impoverimento (2011). Se la consapevolezza della crisi di un concetto-chiave del mondo moderno arriva anche in Italia si può stare tranquilli che il problema è davvero sentito. Remotti ricorda che già alla fine del Novecento fuori dai nostri confini gli antropologi avevano smascherato quello che Ugo Fabietti ha chiamato «l'imbroglio della cultura» e «il peccato discontinuista» (FABIETTI 2002: 51 e 25). Dietro questo RIFL (2012) SFL: 192-
doi:10.2307/1479940 fatcat:5dwecq3qcfdzjboddjgkezn62i