Brain, Behaviour and Extensionalism

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at
Wed Apr 14 10:31:26 EST 2004

On Wed, 14 Apr 2004 13:16:25 +0100, David Longley
<David at> in wrote:

>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.
Wherein David stalks fresh prey from an extensional stance. Crouching
tiger, hidden materialist.

Regards - Lester

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