Publication Date

April 2018

Advisor(s)

Steven Horst

Major

Philosophy

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

In this essay, I present an evolutionary-philosophical theory for the emergence of question asking in early humans. In addition to canonical language studies on non-human primates, I call upon three recent works in philosophy of mind?each endeavoring to naturalistically characterize human mindedness through the application of biological niche construction. These recent publications, from psychologist Michael Tomasello and philosophers Kim Sterelny and Joseph Rouse, inform my efforts to construct a robust account for the evolution of three increasingly complex forms of questioning: ?What??, ?How??, and ?Why?? Mirroring these three forms, the thesis seeks to uncover what constitutes a question, how questioning came to be, and why it matters for philosophical understanding.

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