Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance

Wed, 16 Sep 1998 10:56:21 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 10:56:21 -0400 (EDT)

On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 08:46:37 +0200 Mario Vaneechoutte

> 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.

Chomsky was right about Skinner's theory of language. I do not appeal
to 'default truth by authority', but to the basic logic of Chomsky's
argument against Skinner which I adapt in my article.

If you think that Chomsky was wrong _about this_, please explain. A
general dismissal of Chomsky is not enough.

It is as AJ Ayer has pointed out, Chomsky's single greatest
achievement. Even if Chosmky's synthetic philosophy is forgotten, he
will still always be remembered as the man who refuted the unrealistic
storage-retrieval theory of language.

Chomsky may not be right about everything, but he is certainly right
about this, and his argument is as crunchingly effective against Lynch
as it was against Skinner.

and with regard to your earlier rebuke:

> Derek, besides the fact that this kind of remark is quite childish (and it
> is not the first time you do this kind of emotional stuff), it illustrates
> how you misread texts.

Did I misread this text? There is such a thing as reading between the
lines, and one must often do so with opponents who so rarely say
anything directly. I think that the Wright brothers comparison was
implicit in the metaphor. There have been other digs in my direction,
one the other day about 'sophistry', which I chose to ignore. Did you
rebuke Aaron for being 'childish' or 'emotional'? Pardon me for saying
so, Mario, but I think you are not impartial.

Do you ever misread a text, Mario? I seem to remember you claiming a
while ago that I and Bill had written that 'evolutionary psychologists
had not even bothered to read basic texts on evolution'. There are
other examples of you seriously misinterpreting things that have been
said on this list (I will dig them out if you insist....).

And to this you add, on this very day...

> 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.

If you think that I deny that we have memory, thought or experience,
then please provide me with a quote. In fact I say explicitly in my
article that I do not do so.

In the meantime, if you think I am being 'childish'
and 'emotional' again, then so be it.


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