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Bennett and Hacker: Village Idiots or Philosophers?

Eray Ozkural exa erayo at bilkent.edu.tr
Wed Feb 11 04:59:11 EST 2004

"AlphaOmega2004" <OmegaZero2003 at yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<2b87008a9fd70789cb534988f584011a at news.teranews.com>...
> I think the conceptual error these guys make is that one cannot explain the
> psychological terminology by reference to neuropsychological concepts.
> These are *all* bona fide *ways* of conceptualizing a space that is
> multi-dimensional in the broadest sense.  TO think one can divorce the
> psychological from the neuropsychological is non sense.

The problem with these authors is that they have published the book in
2003, while it seems to me it should have been published around 1930s
or 1940s when Wittgenstein was worshipped by many. Ah, still the
church of Wittgenstein thrives I guess, and I pity that I'm not a
priest and true believer (in God) from time to time. Anyway, you get
the idea. If it weren't for an absolute conviction in the truth of
what Wittgenstein said and his followers, there wouldn't be such a
book. That's an important point.

Note also that the authors have written some serious non-sense. In
particular, this one:

  "It is wrong, *conceptually* wrong, to suppose that memory is always
of the past, or to think that memories can be *stored* in the brain in
the form of the strength of synaptic connections (Kandel, Squire,

As a computer scientist, I know very well what "memory" is, and *that*
our intuitive notion of "memory" coincides with the technical term of
memory, *and* furthermore that it also corresponds to "memory" in
neural associative memory models, etc. That is to say, there is *no*
conceptual mistake. And I also direct your attention to the stupid
blurb about "the past". Oh, memory is not of the past, great, then
perhaps it is of future? Trust me, this is non-sense. I agree with the
authors in that a good philosopher must be able to distinguish sense
from non-sense, but so must a scientist and from both perspectives
their statement is pure non-sense.

That's why I think they sounded more like village idiots than
philosophers when they said such things. They say even sillier things
about computationalism as Pierre demonstrated, you can knock down
their arguments with a single analogy.


Eray Ozkural

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