Brain, Behaviour and Extensionalism

David Longley David at
Wed Apr 14 07:16:25 EST 2004

In article <5fso70tum87hn3ojir4mdk290v6g8gjt9a at>, JXStern 
<JXSternChangeX2R at> writes
>On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 22:20:16 GMT, lesterDELzick at
>(Lester Zick) wrote:
>>>Frankly, I'm not sure that I mentioned any of these three.  I want to
>>>agree with Peirce, but I'm a bit leary of "signs" as requiring more
>>>intentionality than I want to admit.  That is, I want to derive
>>>intentionality, not assume it.  I think that is the modern challenge.
>>>OTOH, with the proper revisionist interpretations, there is a lot to
>>>learn from the last 2500 years' work in semiotics.  Maybe.
>>I haven't read the website yet but if we take the approach you suggest
>>the only way to derive the signs is through analysis of the agent and
>>the mechanics associated with that agent.
>I'm not saying it's easy, or even that I can outline the entire
>process, only that something like that has to be the case.

"signs"... "mechanics associated with that agent"............ Just how 
much Pavlov, Watson, Skinner, Hull etc have you studied (never mind 
Quine and the rest of the empiricists).

Looking through your exchanges with Patty etc it would appear that you 
might be befuddling yourself with a lot of late 19th century mentalistic 
nonsense for want of a better/simpler language game which came later.

It appears to me that you've learned to say some of the words Joshua, 
but possibly without ever questioning whether those you have learned 
them really knew what *they* were talking about, and didn't have the 
means to find out. The inevitable consequence is that you don't know 
what you are talking about either.

What do you think all the empirical work in discrimination learning was 
about in the past century? Simple question - how much of it do you know?

Unless you learn how that talk is constrained by empirical test, you 
risk talking much the same way that new age mystics do when they discuss 
the properties of crystals and extracts of monkey glans etc. You're just 
doing the educated (essentially male) version perhaps.
David Longley

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