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Phenomenology 2005

Volume 4, Issue Part 2, 2007

Selected Essays from Northern Europe Part 2

Marek Maciejczak
Pages 491-513
DOI: 10.7761/9789738863378_2

Terms Denoting Natural Kinds
Prototype’s Effect and Consciousness

This essay shows links between linguistic (mental) meanings and perception, and proposes that cognitive theories of language acquisition should find some foundation in phenomenological evidence. A need for the sharp distinction between linguistic and extra-linguistic is questioned because regularities of categorization processes, manifested in the meanings of terms denoting natural kinds, are the regularities of perceptual processes and language. In this the role of language as the one and only determinant of the structure of experience is limited. The first part deals with Merleau-Ponty’s theory of immediate perception to show the place for spontaneous normalization and its norms. The second part takes into account a more general view on consciousness in order to show the domain where the connection between perception and language is being created.