Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance

Mario Vaneechoutte (
Wed, 16 Sep 1998 10:36:37 +0200

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 10:36:37 +0200
From: Mario Vaneechoutte <>
Subject: Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance


> On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:50:52 -0500 Aaron Lynch <> wrote:
> > I do not specifically say that "awareness of statement x" will ever be
> > definable in neural terms.
> Indeed, and you have reinforced this emphatically over the last
> several of your posts. But you _do_ claim that it can be
> instantiated as a mnemon, that is, as a stored memory item of some
> sort. _That_ is what is contrary to Chomsky. There are no stored
> linguistic entities.

Here we have an illustration of what I would call the 'default truth by authority'.
Forget about many things Chomsky has claimed. You will find several references
which disclaim chomskyan claims in the language article below.

> Hence my 'infinity fallacy' as you call it.
> > The mnemons defined in directly neural
> > terms
> > *might* only be ones unlike any that I have discussed.
> I don't follow that. Over the last few posts I have attempted to force
> you into admitting that mnemons must be neurally instantiated, and you
> have consistently refused. The position you take is that they are
> abstractly instantiated (this is also something I don't think is
> tenable - if something is _in_ there then it must be concretely
> realisable in some way, but we've had that argument and it is not
> the point here).

My stance is that dawkinian memes or whatever exist in our brain, and it is not me
or Aaron or Richard who is trying to pin this down to a grandmother neuron, or to
firing frequencies of neuron groups or whatever.Denying that we have memory,
thought and experience in our brain is denying that we can think and feel. It is
denying the last 700 million year of biological evolution.

Mario Vaneechoutte
Department Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology & Immunology
University Hospital
De Pintelaan 185
9000 GENT
Phone:   +32 9 240 36 92
Fax:   +32 9 240 36 59

J. Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission:

The memetic origin of language: humans as musical primates

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