death of the mind.

David Longley David at
Tue Jul 13 01:26:24 EST 2004

In article <ccurc7$vtt$2 at>, Neil W Rickert
<rickert+nn at> writes
>Wolf Kirchmeir <wwolfkir at> writes:
>>David Longley wrote:
>>> In other words, yes, I do know. The question is, does JL? If not, WHY
>>> not? Why do we see him, and others waste so much time making the remarks
>>> they do from such clear (to me) positions of *ignorance*? Why do people
>>> behave this way?
>>Because the First Amendment guarantees Freedom of Speech. Americans have
>>taken that to mean that all speech is equally valuable.
>This American takes Longley's speech as having no value.

Given the context, that assertion is 'simply' not true. In fact it could
be put more strongly. As it stands it is a lie.

Ironically (and egregiously), the contrary is clearly the case (as a
careful analysis of your (*following* my) verbal behaviour since 1995
would reveal to anyone (including yourself) should they be interested in
looking into the facts of the matter.

In furtherance of your intellectually dishonest agenda you may lead
casual (or otherwise naive) readers to treat your misappropriations as
other than what they actually are, but more discerning readers of your
posts (in the wake of mine) both here and elsewhere, will see why I say
that your assertion is a vulgar distortion/misrepresentation of the

One might be forgiven for believing that this peculiar inability to
distinguish fact from fantasy is becoming de rigeur in those who have
pretensions of being seen by others to be "Cognitive Scientists".

I hope it isn't a general trend in American education/academia.

Here's something which I recently posted in response to some of the
insightless nonsense that Michaels wrote to c.a.p. As I have said many
times, I consider your ('solipsistic') verbal behaviour to be of the
same class (which is why I have so frequently included you when I've
referred to Michaels, Ozkural, Zick, Zero etc).

Here's something I said in c.a.p as far back as in August 1995, which is
in the early part of "Fragments"
<>. It has been discussed and
explicated in so many ways since, that your above comments should, I
think, be taken by other reads as an ongoing illustrations of just how
resistant to corrective evidence people's prejudices and other
intensional heuristics are. This has been a point I have been making for
several years in this newsgroup. It accounts not only for why "Cognitive
skills" programmes are so ineffective, but why so much of "AI" is
misguided as well.

You don't understand how little you understand of what you read on these



Any explanation which is

  '....relative to the purposes and knowledge of the inquirer....'

is precisely what I have taken issue with in 'Fragments of Behaviour:
The Extensional Stance'. Here was how Geach dealt with Fodor in 1980:

    'Fodor  thinks that when we explain behaviour by  mental
    causes,   these   causes   would   be   given   "opaque"
    descriptions  "true  in  virtue of  the  way  the  agent
    represents   the  objects  of  his  wants   (intentions,
    beliefs,  etc.) to HIMSELF" (his emphasis). But what  an
    agent  intends may be widely different from the  way  he
    represents the object of his intention to himself. A man
    cannot shuck off the responsibility for killing  another
    man by just 'directing his intention' at the firing of a

           "I press a trigger - Well, I'm blessed!
            he's hit my bullet with his chest!"'

    P. Geach
    Commentary on J A Fodor's
    Methodological Solipsism Considered as a Research Strategy in
    Cognitive Psychology
    Brain and Behavior Sciences (1980) vol 3, p80

I think there *is* a problem here, and it is one that we, working in the
field of 'corrections*' have to deal with. The material I review in  the
set of articles entitled 'Fragments......' ( 29/7/95).

It's an issue which, (understandably given the basic issue which
prompted Fodor to  write  his paper) changes its complexion as one
considers it in different  contexts.  Putnam's 'Representation and
Reality' (1988) and Quine's 'Pursuit of Truth' (1992) are about as far
as I have got with the issues.

* Inferences in such contexts, ie predictions, can be insidious.
David Longley

David Longley

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