Stolen Concept


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[...] I wish someone besides me would read Pinker's new frigging book, so we could tie discussion of language and concepts back to someone who influences the larger contemporary debate . . .

I'll read it eventually, but it will have to wait its turn. I still have bits and pieces of a couple of Pinker's earlier books to finish reading.

Something I'm puzzled about in advertising I've seen for the new one -- maybe you could enlighten on this, William: It sounds as if, after having made short shrift of Whorf in The Language Instinct, he's now adopting rather Whorfian ideas. One book I'm ordering for Christmas is the volume of Whorf's collected essays. I read that as an undergraduate -- Whorf was still quite popular in anthropology departments then -- but I've forgotten most of the details.

And, Bob K., something I'm puzzled about in your views is why you keep including "mind" along with other dualistic ideas. E.g., from your post #22:

There is no empirical grounding for dualism at all. [....]

If people want to believe in ghosts, goblins, spirits, minds and gods, they will, [...].

Have you read, e.g., Pinker's How the Mind Works or any other books by current big-name scientific writers presenting non-dualistic approaches to "mind"?



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I'm interested enough in Pinker's latest to read it, but it will have to fight its way to the top of the stack.

Sounds ominous, Robert! I look forward to engaging with you. Good food for thought in your posting; for other interested parties, I will dig up some links that illustrate in small part the Fodor/Pinker mud-wressling.

I am not a fan of the "language of thought" notion.

When you get a second, can you expand a little bit on this?

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