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Rép. : They sometimes behave so str angely

Dear List,

I would like to welcome Ole Kühl's remarks that raise fundamentally epistmological questions

Ole  said:
>There seems to be a switch between two perceptual modes in our cognition, a
>music mode and a language mode, prompting us to ask: How can we explain this
>switch? and What triggers it? Is it a purely cultural phenomenon, as some
>writers have suggested, or does it rest on biological properties as well?

It is certainly a cognitive phenomenon that may be influenced by culture.

> the mode-switch phenomenon may have to do with the
>way we conceive of the fundamental categories language and music

Categorization itself is a cognitive phenomenon. 
It is  can be at least partially based on the object-inherent properties ( categorization known as "de re" - e.g all green apples), 
but it can also be based on the observer's viewpoint ( categorization known as "de dicto" - e.g. alll the apples that I like) 
 Categorization is usually relevance driven and related to a praxis.
Language-mode is related to the praxis called speech communication involving a socially shared  linguistic code, while music mode is not related to such a code (although music can be seen as transmitting meanings)

>The categories language and music are not
>predestined and given by nature, they are part of the semiotic web in which
>we perform our investigations.

Of course  Categories do not pre-exist in nature. They are cognitive constructs  resulting from  human cognitive operations and  as such will always remain observer-dependent (quite unlike naive empiricists' opinions).

Best to all.


 Branka Zei Pollermann PhD
Psychiatrie de Liaison
Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
51 Bvd. De la Cluse, 1205 Genève
tél. : 0041 22 382 48 81
Portable : 0041 79 203 92 17

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