Communicative Intentions

Communicative Poster

Communicative Poster

Event to explore differences between human and nonhuman communication

Communicative Poster

Dickinson will host a lecture on the evolution of human linguistic communication and what separates it from nonhuman animal communication. The event, Communicative Intentions and Origins of Meaning, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Stern Center Great Room. It is free and open to the public.

Presenter Dorit Bar-On, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, contends that focusing on the intention behind communication overcomplicates the study of the emergence of language in humans. She will discuss her theory of placing meaningful linguistic communication on an evolutionary timeline with animals’ expressive communication.

Bar-On directs the collaborative research group Expression, Communication and Origins of Meaning, which she created with a National Science Foundation research grant. She has published extensively on topics in philosophy of language and mind, epistemology and metaethics. She has been selected as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study for 2015-16 in Berlin, where she will be working on her next book, tentatively titled Expression, Action and Meaning.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues as part of its semesterlong focus on language. It is co-sponsored by the departments of biology, philosophy and Spanish & Portuguese. For more information, visit or call 717-245-1875.

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Published October 27, 2014