Animal, man, and symbolic function

Raymond Ruyer tried to define the specificity of man within the biological world, distinguishing three characteristic features: the modified role of the brain, cultural transmission or “heredity”, and the symbolic dimension of language. He argued that one had to consider the manipulation of symbols as what makes possible the manifestations of culture, and that, because of their common origin, these manifestations should be considered intricately linked.

Denis Forest, about Ruyer and the Idea of a Symbolic Species, in Revue philosophique de la France et de l’étrangerVolume 138, Issue 1, 2013, pages 59 to 70

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