By Christopher Hart (auth.)

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Extra info for Critical Discourse Analysis and Cognitive Science: New Perspectives on Immigration Discourse

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A second, and more widely accepted account then, is that communication, like many other forms of cooperation, evolved through reciprocal altruism (Ulbaek 1998). 38 Critical Discourse Analysis and Cognitive Science On this account, if an individual A shares information with another individual B, who, in return, shares further information with A, then both A and B stand to gain an ultimate net benefit. And thus, the exchange of information between group members can be adaptive. But what commits B to sharing information in return?

I propose that these gaps can be bridged by drawing on two specific areas of Cognitive Science: Evolutionary Psychology and Cognitive Linguistics. Despite some cursory glances towards cognitive psychology, developments in Cognitive Science have generally been neglected in CDA (Chilton 2005a: 21). From such a cognitive perspective, however, new approaches to understanding and analysing manipulation and ideology in discourse emerge, CDA perhaps becoming more revealing than it already is and some of its existing claims better attested (Hart 2005).

This presents a paradox, since sharing information is an act of altruism, which should not occur according to standard Darwinian theory (Ulbaek 1998: 39). So, if sharing information, like sharing food, is altruistic, then from a Darwinian perspective it requires an explanation (Desalles 1998: 135). Two explanations in particular that can resolve this paradox are available and they depend on different models for the evolution of cooperative behaviour more generally: kin-selected altruism (Hamilton 1964) and reciprocal altruism (Trivers 1971).

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