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By J. Canfield

This publication is a philosophical exam of the phases in our trip from hominid to human. facing the character and foundation of language, self-consciousness, and the non secular excellent of a go back to Eden, it has a philosophical anthropology process. It presents an account of our position in nature in step with either empiricism and mysticism.

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12 A commonly seen gesture developed by children involves requests. For example, a child reaches toward something it wants but cannot get and makes an opening and closing motion with its outstretched hand; the mother may respond by giving the thing to the child. The gesture can become common coin in the mother–child interactions. The child is not taught to act so; it gestures spontaneously. Another child may adopt a different request gesture, for instance reaching and making a certain noise. Both gestures have in their background the same proto-typical, interactive behavior: the child draws the mother’s attention to the item it is after, and the mother sees what the child wants and either hands it over, or prohibits it, and so on.

Parts of an artifact have functions in so far as they contribute to the functioning of the whole. The artifact itself has a function. We also speak of the function of a function: of the role an artifact with a particular job plays in the life of the people who employ it. This stone-age tool drills holes in rock, but what did the people who made it want such holes for? Like the various parts of an artifact, words have different functions. One word in a sentence may indicate when something will be done, and another what that something is.

My thesis is that simple language-games emerge out of the proto language-games, the former being refinements of the latter. One pathway from behavior to speech passes through gesture, and so I turn to the second item in my threefold categorization. Gesture Natural gestures arise in the context of, and are inseparable from, the sort of proto-type behaviors just discussed. An underlying action-pattern is modified, emphasized, or added to in a way that brings it to the other’s attention, and thus it becomes a natural gesture.

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