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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

My contribution comments on the chapters by van Elk and Bekkering, Johnson, Liszkowski, and Schmidt and Rakoczy in a sequence taking us from concepts through language to social cognition and normativity. My perspective is philosophical in stressing conceptual questions, yet in a way that acknowledges their dynamic interconnections with empirical and methodological issues. What constitutes the phenomena investigated by 4E cognitive science, such as concepts, meaning, interaction and normativity? How are they understood in different scientific paradigms, research programs, and theories? One of my general conclusions is that at least some factors in the development of both the language faculty and specific languages are not side effects of purely biological adaptations; instead they are directly functional for cooperative and language-wielding primates, and they may be the result of cumulative cultural development or even of (admittedly complex and messy) intentional innovations.

Keywords: concepts, meaning, embodiment, experience, representationalism, social cognition, normativity, cultural evolution, Frege

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