Biolinguistics and Platonism: Contradictory or Consilient?

  • Jeffrey Watumull Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Keywords: biolinguistics, discrete infinity, ontology, Platonism, Turing machine

Abstract

It has been argued that language is a Platonic object, and therefore that a biolinguistic ontology is incoherent. In particular, the notion of language as a system of discrete infinity has been argued to be inconsistent with the assumption of a physical (finite) basis for language. These arguments are flawed. Here I demonstrate that biolinguistics and mathematical Platonism are not mutually exclusive and contradictory, but in fact mutually reinforcing and consilient in a coherent and compelling philosophy of language. This consilience is effected by Turing’s proof of the coherency of a finitely procedure generative of infinite sets.
Published
2013-12-30
Section
Articles