death of the mind.

John Hasenkam johnh at
Sat Jul 10 10:50:56 EST 2004

"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2 at> wrote in message
news:5d1adc9de113821b8c65aa37fbe1fe5c at
> GS: Yes, very nice. The sad thing, however, is that even the ritualistic
> attacks are anachronistic. Radical behaviorism is not even on the radar of
> most professional psychologists, philosophers, AIers, behavioral
> neurobiologists, etc. After all, didn't Chomsky demolish behaviorism in
> '60s?

Unfortunately Chomsky is being reinvigorated by Pinker.

"Language is a complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child
spontaneously without conscious effort or formal instruction, is deployed
without awareness of its underlying logic, is qualitatively the same in
every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process
information or behave intelligently. (One corollary is that most of the
complexity in language comes from the mind of a child, not from the schools
or from grammar books.) All this suggests that language is caused by
dedicated circuitry that has evolved in the human brain. It then raises the
question of what other aspects of the human intellect are instincts coming
from specialized neural circuitry. "

Last I heard Pinker doesn't have any children and it shows.

Without conscious effort? Goddamn why then at my age am I still very
consciously adjusting my use of language?

"complexity in language comes from the mind of a child, not from the schools
or from grammar books"

ie. children never read.

"is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic"

Damn I have no idea how my brain figures out how to catch the ball.

"All this suggests that language is caused by dedicated circuitry that has
evolved in the human brain. "

Then why do bilinguals use differing regions for the second language?
Why is that brain function during language manipulation varies across the
menstrual cycle? And perhaps even daily via circadian modulation. Some
tantalising data I found on this recently - around sunset a man would
involuntarily switch to his second language, and studies by Paradis
highlighting variability in bilingual language capacity at varying times.
Why is that language manipulation is distributed: Wernicke, Broca, dlpfcs,
cingulate, angular gyrus, temporals and ... ?
Why is that even adults with brain damage to the parietals can sometimes
recover language function to levels where the deficits can only be detected
through rigourous testing; if at all? There are even well documented cases
of people lacking a left hemisphere who can manage language quite well thank


> On another note, I would say that cognitive psychology relies on the
> of the stored and retrieved representation. These notions are under attack
> from within, curiously, by people that have stumbled upon some of the
> arguments made by behaviorists on their own. These people don't use
> behavioristic terminology because it is taboo (though the similarity
> sensorimotor contingencies and reinforcement contingencies is
> and they still call themselves "cognitivists." But cog. sci. has no
> without the representation and the metaphors of storage and retrieval. I
> think it will crumble from within, and it will be helped by the
> of the EAB which has continued to discover laws of behavior. Advances in
> using "behavior selection" algorithms - especially those that attempt some
> similarity to real neurobiology could also contribute.
> "John Hasenkam" <johnh at faraway.> wrote in message
> news:40efdd65 at
> > And, just read this:
> >

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