In the history of human evolution the advent of language caused a set of revolutionary innovations in our species: the modification of brain structures; the birth of abstract thought and the development of technologies, values, opinions, and beliefs; information transmission and preservation over time. These topics, and the behaviours that stem from them, have made humans an ecologically anomalous species, in which language has progressively reduced the distance separating biological evolution and cultural evolution. This book's authors examine the most recent developments in several disciplines (biology, ecology, cognitive science, philosophy of language) and expound a controversial thesis: the fact that natural selection has produced language entails a high cultural cost - the increasingly probable extinction of our species.
Antonino Pennisi teaches Philosophy and Ethology of Language at the University of Messina.
Alessandra Falzone teaches Psychobiology of Language at the University of Messina.