Francesco Ferretti

Francesco Ferretti
Università Degli Studi Roma Tre | UNIROMA3 · Department of Philosophy

PhD

About

116
Publications
46,457
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526
Citations
Citations since 2016
55 Research Items
375 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
Additional affiliations
March 2016 - present
Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
Position
  • Full Professor of Philosophy of Language
November 2007 - February 2016
Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
Position
  • Associate Professor of Philosophy of Language
November 2006 - October 2007
Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
June 1992 - November 1996
Sapienza University of Rome
Field of study
  • Philosophy

Publications

Publications (116)
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I assume that the study of the origin of language is strictly connected to the analysis of the traits that distinguish human language from animal communication. Usually, human language is said to be unique in the animal kingdom because it enables and/or requires intentionality or mindreading. By emphasizing the importance of mindread...
Chapter
[https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198813781.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780198813781-e-33] Central to this chapter is the idea that the investigation of the origin of language is strictly tied to the analysis of the traits that distinguish human communication from that of animals. A cognitive approach to the study of the origin of l...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is twofold: to propose that conversation is the distinctive feature of Homo sapiens' communication; and to show that the emergence of modern language is tied to the transition from pantomime to verbal and grammatically complex forms of narrative. It is suggested that (animal and human) communication is a form of persuasion and...
Book
Full-text available
Che cosa differenzia il linguaggio umano dalle altre forme di comunicazione animale? Al centro del libro è l’idea che il tratto distintivo del linguaggio risieda nella capacità di raccontare storie. Per quel che ne sappiamo, infatti, gli umani sono gli unici animali a comunicare utilizzando modalità narrative di espressione. Un’idea di questo tipo...
Book
Full-text available
[https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-09206-0] This book explores the evolutionary and cognitive foundations of human communication, focusing on narrative as its distinctive dimension. Within a framework of continuity with both the communication of our hominin predecessors and that of non-human animals, the book is about a twofold propo...
Chapter
The topic of this chapter is the analysis of the origin, transmission, and social stabilization of religious beliefs from the perspective of Dual Inheritance Theory, which posits that both biological and cultural selection can work hand in hand to stabilize cultural and religious forms in groups over time. Previous approaches in Cognitive Science o...
Article
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Recent research has proposed that certain aspects of psychosis, as experienced in, e.g., schizophrenia (SCZ), but also aspects of other cognitive conditions, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and synesthesia, can be related to a shattered sense of the notion of self. In this paper, our goal is to show that altered processing of self can be at...
Article
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Empathy is the ability to perceive and understand others' emotional states generating a similar mental state in the self. Previous behavioural studies have shown that self-reflection can enhance the empathic process. The present event-related poten-tials' study aims to investigate whether self-reflection, elicited by an introspective self-narrative...
Article
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The present study investigated the comprehension of narrative with reference to global coherence, i.e., the global representation of story meaning and connectedness, across two different expressive modalities: stories conveyed through written language and stories conveyed through sequences of images. Two cognitive abilities possibly underpinning su...
Chapter
[ https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-09206-0 ] After having shown that the cognitive mechanisms involved in the social brain are not enough to account for narrative skills, the focus of this chapter is on a cognitive macrosystem able to process the plot of stories, namely their extended dimension. At the heart of such macrosystem are...
Chapter
[ https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-09206-0 ] The analysis of the specificities of language is addressed starting from the analysis of animal communication. Two main models of animal communication are presented and arguments in support of the model which describes it as a matter of influence are provided. In a framework of continuity...
Chapter
[ https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-09206-0 ] The topic of this chapter concerns the selective pressures towards persuasive communication, focusing on two different persuasive strategies: argumentation and narrative. In an evolutionary perspective, argumentative communication does not seem a plausible candidate to account for the na...
Chapter
[ https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-09206-0 ] This chapter examines the issue of “how” our predecessors began to tell stories by inventing a new expressive system. A first step in this direction concerns considering, in addition to the role of the functional conditions, the role of the structural conditions underlying communication....
Chapter
[ https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-09206-0 ] The chapter addresses the issue of the expressive systems by which actual communication takes shape, with a twofold aim: showing that it is possible to tell stories without language and claiming that narrative communication is the evolutionary precondition of language emergence. This aim...
Article
This paper relies on the idea that human language evolved to modify/change the beliefs and attitudes of other people , in order to make them act in a certain way. Such an idea is in line with a more general model of animal communication , which sees it as a way to influence others' behaviors. Although forms of persuasion are present in non-human co...
Article
This event-related potentials (ERPs) study investigated online processes of integration of information relating to characters in narrative comprehension. The final sample included twenty-nine participants who read short third-person stories in which the plausibility of the characters' actions was manipulated. Stories were administered in three cond...
Article
[Medicina delle Dipendenze. Italian Journal of the Addictions] Diversi studi hanno dimostrato che l’analisi della dimensione narrativa può rappresentare un valido strumento per far luce su alcuni aspetti psicologici critici; in questo senso, può essere utile per capire meglio il disturbo da dipendenza. Il presente articolo riporta tra l’altro alcu...
Preprint
Recent research has proposed that certain aspects of psychosis, as experienced in e.g. schizophrenia (SCH), but also aspects of other cognitive conditions, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and synesthesia, can be related to a shattered sense of the notion of self. In this paper, our goal is to show that altered processing of the self can be...
Article
This study addresses the postulate of non-conventionality of pantomime, inherent in pantomimic scenarios of language origin. Since lack of semiotic conventions does not preclude micro-conventions resulting from cultural differences, pantomimes should be easier to interpret when the actor and recipient share the same culture than between two differe...
Article
Full-text available
As proposed for the emergence of modern languages, we argue that modern uses of languages (pragmatics) also evolved gradually in our species under the effects of human self‐domestication, with three key aspects involved in a complex feedback loop: (a) a reduction in reactive aggression, (b) the sophistication of language structure (with emerging gr...
Article
Full-text available
Several studies have shown that the analysis of the narrative dimension may represent a useful instrument to shed light on certain critical psychological aspects; to this extent, it might also be fruitful to understand better the addiction disorder. The present study aimed to investigate the critical psychological-narrative aspects involved in Gamb...
Article
Full-text available
In: RIVISTA INTERNAZIONALE DI FILOSOFIA E PSICOLOGIA Al centro di questo articolo è l'analisi dei fondamenti neurocognitivi dei deficit macrolinguistici, discorsivo-narrativi nello specifico, osservabili nei pazienti affetti da schizofrenia. Tale analisi è con-dotta in riferimento alle ricerche svolte negli ultimi decenni nell'ambito della psicoli...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Haptic and multisensory exploration helps blind children to create mental images and abstract mental processes; it is crucial, then, to organize the learning environment so that they can interact with objects through different sensorimotor channels. Storytelling and narratives are useful practices to develop linguistic, cognitive, emotional and soc...
Article
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OPEN ACCESS at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10339-021-01013-w Growing evidence suggests that theory of mind (ToM) and episodic future thinking (EFT) are closely related at both brain and functional level. This study explored the relationship between ToM and EFT in 96 Italian-speaking children with typical development aged between 8...
Chapter
https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/narrative-self-schizophrenia-cognitive-underpinnings-ines-adornetti-francesco-ferretti/e/10.4324/9781003009856-7 The narrative self gives people a sense of continuity, the feeling of being the same person across time, despite life’s many changes. In schizophrenia, there is a reduced sense of self-continuity w...
Article
Impairments in language narrative abilities have been widely observed in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Indeed, both children and adults with ASD show difficulties in generating coherent personal and fictional narratives as well as understanding verbal stories. Cognitive studies have considered these difficulties as not dependent on strictly lingu...
Article
Aim of the present study was to investigate affective and cognitive processes underlying self-narratives of patients with gambling disorder through a verbal language analysis. A semistructured interview was administered to 30 patients with gambling disorder (GD) (24 males and 6 females; mean age: 46.63 ± 9.08) concerning the various thematic areas...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Storytelling is a crucial practice to help children to develop linguistic, cognitive, emotional and social skills. New methodologies for interactive story-telling, as Tangible User Interface (TUI), have promoted innovative, educative and cognitive interventions to listen and stimulate narratives. The aim of the study is to analyze and evaluate the...
Preprint
Full-text available
As proposed for the emergence of modern languages, we argue that modern uses of languages (pragmatics) also evolved gradually in our species under the effects of human self-domestication, with three key aspects involved in a complex feedback loop: (i) a reduction in reactive aggression, (ii) the sophistication of language structure (with emerging g...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we offer some insights that might contribute to the debate about English as a lingua franca (ELF) by addressing some aspects related to the broader topic of language acquisition and evolution. Specifically, it is our claim that some features related to the emergence of ELF can be explained in reference to the 'bottleneck of communica...
Book
Full-text available
Paradigmi. Rivista di critica filosofica Annata: XXXVIII https://www.rivisteweb.it/issn/1120-3404
Article
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In this article, we address the topic of language origins analyzing two interrelated questions: the first one concerns the functional role of language; the second regards the structural conditions on which language was built. As for the first question, we challenge the classic code model of communication according to which language's main purpose i...
Article
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Introduction to the special issue "The Speaking Brain. The Origin of Language from a Cognitive Standpoint" https://www.rivisteweb.it/issn/1120-3404/issue/8004#issn=1120-3404&type=d
Article
The present study analyzed the comprehension of visual narrative in a group of twelve children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Their performances were compared to a control group of fifteen children with typical development (TD) matched for age, level of formal education, and IQ. Visual narrative comprehension was assessed by administering a...
Article
Full-text available
Impairments of motor representation of actions have been reported as a core component of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Individuals with ASD have difficulties in a number of functions such as assuming anticipatory postures, imitating body movements, producing and understanding gestures, and recognizing motor intentions. Such cognitive-motor abili...
Article
The debate on protolanguage represents a litmus test for investigating the issue of the precursors of language. Currently, this debate is characterized by unilateral theorethical perspectives, disagreeing respectively or contradicting each other: from the thesis that language appeared suddenly without any intermediate step to the idea that the orig...
Article
Full-text available
Paradigmi, XXXVII, 1, 2019, pp. 101-120 https://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.30460/92847 In this article we suggest that Chomsky’s vantage over Piaget was mainly due to the contrast between a strong model of language and a weak one (if not completely nonexistent). However, in the last twenty years the situation has deeply changed, due to a new way of...
Article
Individuals with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulties in the recollection of past experiences (Episodic Memory). Accumulating evidence suggests that they might have also difficulties in the ability to imagine potential future scenarios (Episodic Future Thinking, EFT) and in narrative generation skills. This investigation aimed to deter...
Article
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https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/Lebenswelt/article/view/11107 In this paper, we show how the embodied revolution within cognitive sciences has relevant consequences for the topic of language origins. The empirical findings of the embodied approaches, indeed, allow to elaborate a motor theory of language origins according to which human language...
Article
Full-text available
This study analyzed the relation between mental time travel (MTT) and the ability to produce a storytelling focusing on global coherence, which is one of the most notable characteristics of narrative discourse. As global coherence is strictly tied to the temporal sequence of the events narrated in a story, we hypothesized that the construction of c...
Article
The ability to imagine future events (episodic future thinking—EFT) emerges in preschoolers and further improves during middle childhood and adolescence. In the present study, we focused on the possible cognitive factors that affect EFT and its development. We assessed the ability to mentally project forward in time of a large cohort of 135 6- to 1...
Article
The authors critically analyze and discuss the book from different points of view. Scribano traces back the interest for animal cognition to philosophers of modern age and confronts their views with de Waal's research achievements. Pollo puts the book into the framework of the development of the science of animal behavior and argues in favor of a r...
Chapter
Full-text available
L'assunto alla base di questo articolo è che le caratteristiche essenziali della comuni-cazione umana siano individuabili sul piano del discorso. Nello specifico, la nostra proposta è che il linguaggio abbia una natura eminentemente narrativa. Nell'ottica cognitiva in cui si colloca la nostra riflessione, il riferimento al piano narrativo com-porta...
Article
In this paper we propose a narrative account for the origin of language. Such a proposal is based on two assumptions. The first is conceptual and concerns the idea that the distinctive feature of human language (what sets it apart from other forms of animal communication) has to be traced to its inherently narrative character. The second assumption...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we propose a proto-discursive model of the origin of language. At the foundation of this model there is the idea that the origin of language is founded on discursive global coherence. Discourse coherence, in effect, is an essential property of human communication that, contrary to Sperber and Wilson (1986), is not reducible to thei...
Article
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This issue of THS is concluded by W. Skrzypczak’s review of Postcolonial English, an ample book published by E. W. Schneider in 2007. Drawing the reader’s attention to English-based pidginization and creolization processes in several countries, the author casts light on very different cases of linguistic and cultural contacts. Obviously, the book i...
Chapter
Dal punto di vista della filosofia della scienza cognitiva, l’analisi dei rapporti tra linguaggio, comunicazione e razionalità segue una via obbligata: la tradizione neocartesiana inaugurata da Chomsky con la grammatica universale (GU). In effetti, poiché la rivoluzione chomskiana della seconda metà del Novecento coincide in larga parte con l’avven...
Article
This brief report is a partial replication of the study by Jackson and Atance (J Dev Disabil 14:40–45, 2008) assessing nonverbal Self-based and Mechanical-based future thinking (FT) in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In a first step, these tasks were administered to 30 children with ASD. The two Self-based tasks were then modified as...
Book
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Le capacità verbali umane sono acquisite o innate? Debbono essere considerate in riferimento a una forma di apprendistato sociale o invece esaminate nei termini di una predisposizione biologica di cui gli umani, diversamente da tutti gli altri animali, dispongono sin dalla nascita in modo indipendente dall’esperienza? A questi interrogativi rispond...
Article
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In this paper we tackle the issue of the role of narrative language in the constitution of human subjectivity. There are at least two different approaches to this issue. The first one is consistent with the view that language has a unique constitutive role in cognition. According to this account, human subjec-tivity is a by-product of the advent of...
Book
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En 1866 la Société de Linguistique de Paris interdit à ses membres, par un arrêt offi ciel, toute communication concernant l'origine du langage. Les résistances et les soupçons de tant de chercheurs contemporains à l'égard de ce sujet persistent, ainsi que la méfi ance des savants de formation humaniste à l'égard de l'évolutionnisme darwinien, alor...
Chapter
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PSICOLOGIA EVOLUZIONISTICA. – Lo sfondo. Animali tra altri animali. Una nuova idea della mente. La psicologia evoluzionistica che verrà. Bibliografia http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/psicologia-evoluzionistica_%28Enciclopedia-Italiana%29/
Article
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In this paper we propose an action-oriented model of language origins that is compatible with the embodied perspective of mind. Specifically, we suggest that a crucial issue for the investigation of the origin of human communication is how language is grounded in the context. In support of our proposal, we maintain that: a) the grounding of languag...
Book
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Special issue of Humana.Mente devoted to the origin and evolution of language edited by Francesco Ferretti and Ines Adornetti. Articles by: Ines Adornetti, Lluís Barceló-Coblijn, Teresa Bejarano, Alessandra Chiera, Michael C. Corballis, Erica Cosentino, Alessandra Falzone, Silvia Felletti, Francesco Ferretti, Peter Gärdenfors, José Luis Guijarro, J...
Article
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In this paper we propose a narrative hypothesis on the nature of language and a proto-discursive hypothesis on the origin of our communicative abilities. Our proposal is based on two assumptions. The first assumption, concerning the properties of language, is tied to the idea that global discourse coherence governs the origin of our communicative a...
Article
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In this paper we maintain that Chomsky's biolinguistic program is not consistent with a naturalistic perspective of human language because of its problematic relationship with evolutionary theory. Against the Chomsky's scepticism toward the Darwinian tradition, we support the idea that a theoretical perspective that fails the evolutionary plausibil...
Article
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The main intent of this paper is to give an account of the relationship between bio-cognition and culture in terms of coevolution, analysing religious beliefs and language evolution as case studies. The established view in cognitive studies is that bio-cognitive systems constitute a constraint for the shaping and the transmission of religious belie...
Article
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In spite of the fact that most models of language in cognitive science are naturalistic, many authors are skeptical of Darwinism, especially the idea that language may be an evolutionary adaptation. There is a conceptual obstacle at the basis of this skepticism: the connection with Cartesian tradition. To propose a genuinely naturalistic perspectiv...
Article
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Classical cognitive science has been characterized by an association with the computational theory of mind. Although this association has produced highly significant results, it has also limited the scope of scientific psychology. In this paper, we analyse the limits of the specific kind of computational model represented by the Chomskian-Fodorian...
Article
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The main thesis of this paper is that the devices at the basis of the origin and the functioning of language are closely linked to the ability to navigate in space. Such a thesis is founded on two arguments: the idea that the essential characteristic of the creative use of language is the ability to speak appropriately (in a manner coherent and con...
Article
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Models of discourse and narration elaborated within the classical compositional framework have been characterized as bottom-up models, according to which discourse analysis proceeds incre-mentally, from phrase and sentence local meaning to discourse global meaning. In this paper we will argue against these models. Assuming as a case study the issue...
Article
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A naturalistic approach to the study of the relationship between biology and culture is to be meant in relation to a unitary conception of human beings. In this article we argue that an account of such conception needs to appeal to a co-evolutive view of the relations between biology and culture. However, this idea of coevolution, if it does not wa...
Article
In this paper we argue that a “hidden link” correlates discourse processing and spatial navigation. Specifically, we argue that two navigational systems (planning the route and landmark knowledge) can be profitably used to account for the analysis of the coherence of the flow of discourse. Consistent with this hypothesis, some brain regions activat...
Article
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According to Chomsky, creativity is a critical property of human language, particularly the aspect of “the creative use of language” concerning the appropriateness to a situation. How language can be creative but appropriate to a situation is an unsolvable mystery from the Chomskyan point of view. We propose that language appropriateness can be exp...
Book
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Secondo l'opinione largamente prevalente nella riflessione contemporanea, il linguaggio è la caratteristica essenziale della natura umana, ciò che rende gli umani unici e imparagonabili con il resto del mondo animale. Alla base di una concezione di questo tipo è la tesi, cara alla tradizione cartesiana, della "differenza qualitativa" tra gli umani...
Article
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The advent of cognitive science has been characterized by the need to answer the traditional questions about the nature of the mind by inquiring about the actual elaboration processes that under-lie it. This means that beyond the conceptual analysis traditionally pursued by philosophers, cognitive scientists claim the need to con-strain the theoret...
Conference Paper
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This paper analyses the cognitive systems that underlie the pragmatics of discourse. We examine the ability to speak 'appropriately', that is, in a manner coherent and consonant to the situation. Specifically, we focus on a particular aspect of this ability: the capacity to build a coherent discourse. We show that coherence is a property that conce...
Article
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The empirical constraint of the psychological plausibility establishes a very strong linkage between speculative assumptions about the nature of mind and cognitive architecture models at their foundation. In this context, the classical cognitive science has been characterized by association with the computational theory of mind, which until not lon...
Conference Paper
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Article
Nel suo commento a Perché non siamo speciali, Marco Mazzone sottolinea la difficoltŕ di dar conto della flessibilitŕ del comportamento umano all'interno di una prospettiva modularista del mentale. La mia replica si basa sull'analisi del ruolo dell'intelligenza nei processi di produzione-comprensione linguistica. In particolare, la mia idea č che l'...
Conference Paper
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Article
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- This paper analyses the process of translating by using the conceptual tools involved in two different models of linguistic comprehension: the code model and the inferential model. If communication is described as a process of coding and decoding the same thought in the same code, then translation into a different code becomes impossible. But lin...
Conference Paper
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Article
- Starting from a discussion of Sylvain Auroux's new book (L'origine des langues... 2007), the paper develops a critique of the anti-naturalistic approach to the study of language. The rejection of the quest for language origin as a theory unsusceptible to scientific empirical treatment is an aspect of the idealistic consequences of anti-naturalist...
Article
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The main aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between brain and language in terms of coevolution. Nowadays, the thesis of coevolution is defended by the exponents of the neoculturalist paradigm to claim that language is the product of cultural (not biological) evolution. In our opinion, this claim is misleading. From our point of view,...