Wittgensteinians
Life in the Post-Analytic World, Given by the Man Who Ended Philosophy As History Knew It

Home » Concerning Wittgenstein's Ideas » Wittgenstein, Mind and Behaviorism » [Wittrs] On Wittgenstein and Behaviorism II
[Wittrs] On Wittgenstein and Behaviorism II [message #1189] Sun, 20 September 2009 15:22 Go to next message
Guest Not Logged In
--- On Sat, 9/19/09, Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@yahoo.com> wrote:


From: Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@yahoo.com>
Subject: [Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality
To: wittrs@freelists.org
Date: Saturday, September 19, 2009, 3:56 PM


Sean: 1. I don't have an "anything goes" approach to language. There is nothing in my writings that suggest this.

GS: Yes, I think there is. You use the the notion of "family resemblance" to justify all manner of notions that Wittgenstein would, I think, find appalling. That "brains see" or "decide" or "learn" etc. This kind of talk has become commonplace in neurobiology, but that doesn't justify it. It is, in fact, symptomatic of everything that is wrong with neurobiology. This is precisely why Hacker, along with the neurobiologist Bennett, spend most of their book trashing the mereological fallacy. Again, just because some locution finds its way into someone's speech doesn't mean that the locution is sensible. Seeing is something that people do. As is deciding, thinking, understanding, knowing, etc. etc. etc. etc. 
 
Sean: 2. My brain-script project is going quite well. I would love for someone to say it was not Wittgenstein's own idea or something nursed from his shadow. In that vein, I could someday claim to have done something original. However, all that my project really will do when it is complete, I think, is demonstrate a novel way to convey in a much clearer way ideas that especially central to latter-day Wittgenstein.

GS: Are "brain scripts" supposed to be things that are part of neurophysiology - and are supposed to explain the behavior from which they are inferred? That strikes me as distinctly unWittgensteinian. Weren't your "brain scripts" about grammar? But Wittgenstein had it right when he said "Grammar does not tell us how langauge is to be constructed in order to fulfil its purpose, in order to have such-and-such effect on human beings. It only describes and in no way explains the use of signs." [Though I would quibble about "signs" I suppose.] Do you really think that Wittgenstein would endorse the notion that rules in the brain explain speaking grammatically? But perhaps I have mischaracterized your "brain scripts" notion - you'll let me know probably if I have. In any event, Wittgenstein's statement above is another of so many that is consistent with Skinnerian philosophy. I primarily joined this group to make this connection, but I have seen how utterly
naive that was. First of all, people have been trained, for a couple of generations now, to automatically dismiss behaviorism. No amount of pointing to the similarities between BFS and LW can overcome this. The paper I posted - a well thought out, scholarly paper - was read by no one. Now, we're all busy, and we can't read every paper someone slings our way, but it is deeper than this, I think. The entire paper was available on-line - its pretty short. And no one could so much as give it skim? Why? Because what if it made some sense? Wittgenstein - consistent with silly behaviorism? Oh my God, what if one would have to change one's view based on a paper - better to not even read it. After all, isn't the rejection of behaviorism something we can all agree on? What were Urner's and Stern's comments? Basically they boiled down to "Don't we all know that behaviorism is silly?" Stern's was the best, though, and I have heard it before - Skinner isn't really
even a behaviorist. What nonsense! Anyway, I'm rambling some now, so I'll stop. 
 
Sean: Glen, why not put these ideas of yours as separate posts instead of replies? As they are now, they are buried inside of the wrong thread.

GS: The points I have made, and those that Gerardo made, can just as easily be ignored when they are separate threads or responses to threads. But that all brings me back to what I said originally - I find that very little of what is discussed here has anything to do with Wittgenstein's later philosophy. Most posters (and there are really only a few) are basically mainstream cognitivists. Stern with his computationalism, Mirsky with his "mind is a cause of behavior," and you with your "brain scripts" that amounts to nothing more than a new buzzword. Standard cognitivism. Exemplary of everything that has ever been wrong with philosophy and what continues to be wrong with philosophy. Exemplary of everything against which later Wittgenstein railed. Arrrghhh.
 


WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] On Wittgenstein and Behaviorism [message #1190 is a reply to message #1189] Sun, 20 September 2009 21:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sean Wilson is currently offline  Sean Wilson
Messages: 793
Registered: August 2009
Location: Form of Life
Senior Member

Glen:
 
1.  All that you are doing is presenting an argument for reification that is masquerading as a Wittgenstein notion. The idea would be that something would have to be physically present for it to be spoken of. The latter Wittgenstein would never entertain such an idea. You are going to have to shed the reification talk if you ever want to be a black-belt Wittgensteinian. If someone talked to Ludwig about "brain script," his first reaction would be to conjugate the grammar (to see how the expression played against other ways of talking in the lexicon). Note that this doesn't mean that cognitivists -- or behaviorists, for that matter -- don't have facile forms of expression, it just means that we must "wait and see" how the usage works to obtain such an answer, rather than have a rule for speaking.
 
You will note that latter-day Wittgenstein is against all sorts of philosophic positions because they constitute false problems. He's against solipsism, idealism, nominalism, etc. etc. -- not because he is FOR something else, but because they don't really present any true problems. In this sense, he surely would not be a proponent of "behaviorism." Throughout his life, he tried to make clear that his positions were not "behaviorist." See. e.g., PI 307. The reason why people might think he is has to do with the part of his labors that go against folk psychology and phenomenology. Wittgenstein won't be joining any of these false discussions. 
 
You can't cherry-pick your way to Wittgenstein. All of ideas must fit together in the head for one to "get it." So, in sum, it isn't only family resemblance that you are up against. It is meaning as use, no true philosophic problems, philosophy as therapy, the idea of grammar, and all of that mind stuff he talks about here and there (especially toward the end of PI).  
      
2. I often wonder if this "mereological fallacy" that you are speaking of isn't itself a fallacy of some sort. They way it is being used, one might say it is a language fallacy. You seem to think that only two language options are available: to refer to something concretely, or to speak poetically. Hence, you see the expression "my brain thinks,' as either nonsense or poetry. This is quite clearly Wittgenstein I, not Wittgenstein II.   
 
The idea of family resemblance is that when something is referred to, it has any combination of properties from a shared array. Think of the array as a "grab bag." Let's assume the bag has properties, a, b, c, d, e and f.  So, term X might mean properties a, b and c in one use; and in another use, it might mean a, d and f.  Because of the way language is, the bags themselves might also work this way. This means that you cannot have a rule for speaking. You can only wait to see what is being taken from the bag and put in play before you can "add up" the confusion.
 
So, if someone says, "the brain learns," it isn't nonsense. One would need to know what is meant here. And so long as identity is not being divided so that the person's grammar would have us say "my brain is learning while I am away," we don't really have any trouble. All we are talking about is a different unit of analysis of the person. Note that even this last use isn't nonsense; it is simply metaphysics. We would never not allow a person to state metaphysics. (Although, we might refer counseling if the person became anti-social).        
 
3. My work on brain scripts is philosophical; it is not scientific. I have invented a computer syntax that explain the problems of meaning as use and grammar better than Wittgenstein did. In fact, I don't declare this issue -- I show it. I show how language assertion can be mirrored or captured by a computing syntax. Before my work will appear, we only have two methods available for analyzing language use: we diagram sentences, or we use some sort of symbolic logic (or modal logic). Rather than having only a syntax for logic (symbolism) and for language's structure (diagramming sentences), I have created a new analytical device: a computer script for the "thoughts" of language. All that language thoughts are, are brain script. Rather than assert this, I am showing it. I am laboring to finish the scripts and to therefore show the confusions of philosophers, lawyers, political scientists -- behaviorists, the academy (you name it)
 
Language only ever means what it asks a brain to do.  
 
Regards and thanks 

Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
Assistant Professor
Wright State University
Redesigned Website: http://seanwilson.org
SSRN papers: http://ssrn.com/author=596860
Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanwilsonorg
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/seanwilsonorg
New Discussion Group: http://seanwilson.org/wittgenstein.discussion.html

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality [message #1195 is a reply to message #1189] Sun, 20 September 2009 22:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jrstern is currently offline  jrstern
Messages: 159
Registered: August 2009
Senior Member
--- In Wittrs@yahoogroups.com, Glen Sizemore <gmsizemore2@...> wrote:
>
> that behaviorism is silly?" Stern's was the best, though, and I
> have heard it before - Skinner isn't really even a behaviorist.

Did I say that Skinner isn't really even a behaviorist?
I don't think so. Can't imagine why I would want to.

Oh, or is it *you* saying Skinner isn't really even a behaviorist,
because you say and show that he did not limit himself to the
eliminative aspects of behaviorism that are most in question.

The later I guess.

Just clarifying out loud.

Josh




WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality [message #1201 is a reply to message #1189] Sun, 20 September 2009 22:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SWMirsky is currently offline  SWMirsky
Messages: 188
Registered: August 2009
Senior Member
Glen wrote: "Mirsky with his 'mind is a cause of behavior'"

I have argued here that it is reasonable to speak of brains as being causal in relation to mind. As to behavior, I HAVE said that our thoughts do drive the choices we make which, of course, can fairly be construed as being causal of behavior, too. But the sense of "cause" in that case is different from the sense in which I would say brains cause minds (and different again from the sense in which I might say the cue ball striking the eight ball on the pool table caused the eight ball to roll into the corner pocket). So I am certainly not arguing that mind causes behavior because I think that's rather obvious in the sense of "cause" that's relevant, i.e., that a person often acts because he or she makes a particular choice to do one thing rather than another (even if the stimulie received and other factors may also figure into the decision to act or if some acts are merely responses to stimuli without a lot of thought involved).

I'm sorry if Glen doesn't feel my disagreement with him as to whether Wittgenstein is a behaviorist is correct but I, at least, have Wittgenstein's own words on the matter (posted earlier in an exchange with Cayuse) about how his claim is not behaviorism.

My main beef with Glen (aside from his rather thin skin when anyone disagrees with him about his theses re: behaviorism) is in his argument that mental phenomena (thoughts, mental images, ideas, memories, etc.) are properly referred to as behavior, too, and thus we save behaviorism! While it is certainly possible to expand the meaning of "behavior" as Glen and Gerardo do, I have argued that the end result is simply to call something behaviorism that isn't.

SWM


--- In Wittrs@yahoogroups.com, Glen Sizemore <gmsizemore2@...> wrote:
>
> --- On Sat, 9/19/09, Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@...> wrote:
>
>
> From: Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@...>
> Subject: [Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality
> To: wittrs@...
> Date: Saturday, September 19, 2009, 3:56 PM
>
>
>>
> GS: Are "brain scripts" supposed to be things that are part of neurophysiology - and are supposed to explain the behavior from which they are inferred? That strikes me as distinctly unWittgensteinian. Weren't your "brain scripts" about grammar? But Wittgenstein had it right when he said "Grammar does not tell us how langauge is to be constructed in order to fulfil its purpose, in order to have such-and-such effect on human beings. It only describes and in no way explains the use of signs." [Though I would quibble about "signs" I suppose.] Do you really think that Wittgenstein would endorse the notion that rules in the brain explain speaking grammatically? But perhaps I have mischaracterized your "brain scripts" notion - you'll let me know probably if I have. In any event, Wittgenstein's statement above is another of so many that is consistent with Skinnerian philosophy. I primarily joined this group to make this connection, but I have seen how utterly
> naive that was. First of all, people have been trained, for a couple of generations now, to automatically dismiss behaviorism. No amount of pointing to the similarities between BFS and LW can overcome this. The paper I posted - a well thought out, scholarly paper - was read by no one. Now, we're all busy, and we can't read every paper someone slings our way, but it is deeper than this, I think. The entire paper was available on-line - its pretty short. And no one could so much as give it skim? Why? Because what if it made some sense? Wittgenstein - consistent with silly behaviorism? Oh my God, what if one would have to change one's view based on a paper - better to not even read it. After all, isn't the rejection of behaviorism something we can all agree on? What were Urner's and Stern's comments? Basically they boiled down to "Don't we all know that behaviorism is silly?" Stern's was the best, though, and I have heard it before - Skinner isn't really
> even a behaviorist. What nonsense! Anyway, I'm rambling some now, so I'll stop. 
>  
> Sean: Glen, why not put these ideas of yours as separate posts instead of replies? As they are now, they are buried inside of the wrong thread.
>
> GS: The points I have made, and those that Gerardo made, can just as easily be ignored when they are separate threads or responses to threads. But that all brings me back to what I said originally - I find that very little of what is discussed here has anything to do with Wittgenstein's later philosophy. Most posters (and there are really only a few) are basically mainstream cognitivists. Stern with his computationalism, Mirsky with his "mind is a cause of behavior," and you with your "brain scripts" that amounts to nothing more than a new buzzword. Standard cognitivism. Exemplary of everything that has ever been wrong with philosophy and what continues to be wrong with philosophy. Exemplary of everything against which later Wittgenstein railed. Arrrghhh.
>  
>
>
> WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
> TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
> 3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
> 1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
> GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
> YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
> FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009
>



WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality [message #1203 is a reply to message #1201] Sun, 20 September 2009 22:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sean Wilson is currently offline  Sean Wilson
Messages: 793
Registered: August 2009
Location: Form of Life
Senior Member

Penalty: Mirsky

Interference:

Replay: "My main beef with Glen (aside from his rather thin skin when anyone disagrees with him about his theses re: behaviorism)... "

Talking about the discussant's behavior, capacity, propensities, etc.

We aren't here to discuss what Stuart thinks of Glenn's skin, even if the premise would hypothetically be true.




WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality [message #1204 is a reply to message #1201] Sun, 20 September 2009 23:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kirby urner is currently offline  kirby urner
Messages: 349
Registered: August 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon
Senior Member
On Sun, Sep 20, 2009 at 7:49 PM, SWM <SWMirsky@aol.com> wrote:

<< snip >>

> My main beef with Glen (aside from his rather thin skin when anyone disagrees with him about his theses re: behaviorism) is in his argument that mental phenomena (thoughts, mental images, ideas, memories, etc.) are properly referred to as behavior, too, and thus we save behaviorism! While it is certainly possible to expand the meaning of "behavior" as Glen and Gerardo do, I have argued that the end result is simply to call something behaviorism that isn't.
>
> SWM
>

I've seen this maneuver by other behaviorists e.g. the late Lou Geller
on the Synergeo list (Yahoo!) which I frequent.

"Behavior" comes to mean "change" and/or "phenomena" i.e. any
differences that make a difference (Bateson).

Language then enters the flow along with mental images and sensations
as just more behavior.

We're back the Heraclitus and his river. I'm not saying that's bad,
but then it's not that original, either.

Wittgenstein likes to point out how it's easy to give a uniform veneer
to everything e.g. "language consists of propositions" (because with
clever rewording, you can "make it so" to quote Capt. Picard).

One wonders what it gained by simplifications sometimes i.e. finding
the right level of complexity for the job may mean *not* trying to
bring everything back to "logic" or "behavior" or whatever the hell
(beware faux simplicity).


Kirby

WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality [message #1206 is a reply to message #1203] Sun, 20 September 2009 23:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SWMirsky is currently offline  SWMirsky
Messages: 188
Registered: August 2009
Senior Member
--- In Wittrs@yahoogroups.com, Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@...> wrote:
>
> Penalty: Mirsky
>
> Interference:
>
> Replay: "My main beef with Glen (aside from his rather thin skin when anyone disagrees with him about his theses re: behaviorism)... "
>
> Talking about the discussant's behavior, capacity, propensities, etc.
>
> We aren't here to discuss what Stuart thinks of Glenn's skin, even if the premise would hypothetically be true.
>
>
>

Fair enough. I kind of knew I was heading out of bounds with that one but figured it was worth the toss just to see how tough the ref is gonna be. Now I know. -- SWM


WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Behaviorism [message #1241 is a reply to message #1189] Wed, 23 September 2009 17:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Guest Not Logged In
--- On Sun, 9/20/09, Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@yahoo.com> wrote:

> From: Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@yahoo.com>
> Subject: [Wittrs] On Wittgenstein and Behaviorism
> To: wittrs@freelists.org
> Date: Sunday, September 20, 2009, 9:26 PM
> Glen:
>  
> 1.  All that you are doing is presenting an argument for
> reification that is masquerading as a Wittgenstein notion.
> The idea would be that something would have to be physically
> present for it to be spoken of.

I suppose it is possible to maintain this interpretation of what I have written - but that would entail misunderstanding, ignoring, or misrepresenting what I wrote. Reification plays only a small role in what I wrote.

>The latter Wittgenstein
> would never entertain such an idea. You are going to have
> to shed the reification talk if you ever want to be a
> black-belt Wittgensteinian.

Wittgenstein did not rely on the claim of reification to trash the sorts of notions that you, and others, hold so dear, and I did not rely on it either. As far as the mereological fallacy, Wittgenstein would claim it is nonsense that the brain "sees" or "thinks"," or "decides," etc. etc. etc. etc. etc., instead he would claim that it is nonsense given how these terms are used in ordinary speech. I think this is abundantly clear. Also, you did not address the related issue of your "anything goes" approach to philosophically-acceptable usage. As I said, just because a specialized segment of neurosciences have adopted the "brain sees, brain thinks" etc. terminology does not somehow transform it into a sensible set of statements. It isn't. I would comment on the issue of whether or not I am shodan with respect to Wittgenstein, but since I am moderated, I will forego comment. 


>If someone talked to Ludwig
> about "brain script," his first reaction would be to
> conjugate the grammar (to see how the expression played
> against other ways of talking in the lexicon). Note that
> this doesn't mean that cognitivists -- or behaviorists,
> for that matter -- don't have facile forms of expression,
> it just means that we must "wait and see" how the usage
> works to obtain such an answer, rather than have a rule for
> speaking.

I can't agree. I think you have a convoluted view "conjugate the grammar," though I can't recall Wittgenstein using the term "conjugate," but I could be wrong. I don't think Wittgenstein would "wait and see" concerning "brain scripts." I think that he would call it nonsense.

>  
> You will note that latter-day Wittgenstein is against all
> sorts of philosophic positions because they constitute false
> problems. He's against solipsism, idealism, nominalism, etc.
> etc. -- not because he is FOR something else, but because
> they don't really present any true problems. In this sense,
> he surely would not be a proponent of
> "behaviorism." Throughout his life, he tried to make clear
> that his positions were not "behaviorist." See. e.g., PI
> 307. The reason why people might think he is has to do with
> the part of his labors that go against folk psychology and
> phenomenology. Wittgenstein won't be joining any of these
> false discussions. 

Whether or not Wittgenstein would claim allegience to behaviorism is totally beside the point. What really matters is if he said things consistent with behaviorism, in particular Skinnerian behaviorism. I have offerred a peer-reviewed paper that lists 10 points of commonality among BFS and LW.

>  
> You can't cherry-pick your way to Wittgenstein. All of
> ideas must fit together in the head for one to "get it."

Funny, I was going to admonish your views in the same way - except I think that your view doesn't even pick cherries. Your philosophy is run-of-the-mill cognitivism, and you interpret everything Wittgenstein says so that it appears to endorse your view. By the way, isn't saying that "I" cherry-pick close to a violation of the standards to which you want to hold others? 

> So, in sum, it isn't only family resemblance that you are up
> against. It is meaning as use, no true philosophic
> problems, philosophy as therapy, the idea of grammar, and
> all of that mind stuff he talks about here and there
> (especially toward the end of PI).

Needless to say, I disagree. As I said, family-resemblance does not give one license to profer anything and everything as useful philosophical/scientific terminology. Chemical explosions bear a family resemblance to a person becoming angry, and we say "Bill blew up when he found that Seamus thoroughly misrepresented Wittgenstein" (haha), but no one is likely to think that chemical explosions shed light on emotional behavior. But when one metaphorically extends the fact that human (actors) "follow scripts" to "brains follow scripts," many listeners are likely to be drawn into this nonsense. 

>       
> 2. I often wonder if this "mereological fallacy" that you
> are speaking of isn't itself a fallacy of some sort. They
> way it is being used, one might say it is a language
> fallacy. You seem to think that only two language options
> are available: to refer to something concretely, or to speak
> poetically. Hence, you see the expression "my
> brain thinks,' as either nonsense or poetry. This is quite
> clearly Wittgenstein I, not Wittgenstein II.


Needless to say, I disagree. And I don't see it as "poetry," I see at as obvious nonsense, and I think latter Wittgenstein would too, and so does Hacker (for what that's worth), but I suppose we can dismiss that by saying, "He's not a black-belt Wittgensteinian."    
>  

> The idea of family resemblance is that when something is
> referred to, it has any combination of properties from a
> shared array. Think of the array as a "grab bag." Let's
> assume the bag has properties, a, b, c, d, e and f.  So,
> term X might mean properties a, b and c in one use; and in
> another use, it might mean a, d and f.  Because of the way
> language is, the bags themselves might also work this way.
> This means that you cannot have a rule for speaking. You
> can only wait to see what is being taken from the bag and
> put in play before you can "add up" the confusion.

The mistake here is that what is important is not how or why there are metaphorical extensions - there are - but whether or not that somehow justifies nonsensical locutions. Again, we say that "Bill blew up..." when we see that Bill has become angry - and this is fine for ordinary speech - but this hardly justifies the notion that metaphors based on chemical explosions are philosophically/scientifically useful for an analysis of emotion. They are not.

>  
> So, if someone says, "the brain learns," it isn't nonsense.

Needless to say, I disagree for reasons I have already outlined.

> One would need to know what is meant here. And so long as
> identity is not being divided so that the person's grammar
> would have us say "my brain is learning while I am away," we
> don't really have any trouble.

You mean "'you' don't have any trouble." I do, and I assert that Wittgenstein would have a problem as well. If "Johnny's brain learned to read" and "Johnny learned to read," were identical, why the locution involving Johnny's brain? Why would that ever arise? Why has that locution suddenly become popular? Do we say that "Johnny's arm hit a drop shot"? Or, "Johnny's legs walked to the store"? Or Johnny's right foot kicked a goal"? No, we do not. My fervant hope is that you will ask youself these questions, but I am equally certain that you will not. I think the reason is that your philosophical position is mainstream cognitivism and, because of the prestige afforded Wittgenstein, you will force anything he said into the mold of mainstream cognitivism. My view is that this is exactly what you do, and you do it with great regularity.

>All we are talking about is a
> different unit of analysis of the person.

No, you are talking about the persons parts in the same language that you talk about the whole person.

>Note that even
> this last use isn't nonsense; it is simply metaphysics.

No, it is mainstream cognitive nonsense.

>We
> would never not allow a person to state metaphysics.
> (Although, we might refer counseling if the person became
> anti-social).

Sorry, I don't "get" this.
        
>  
> 3. My work on brain scripts is philosophical; it is not
> scientific. 

Science is not as divorced from philosophy as you seem to claim. I offerred another peer-reviewed paper that makes this point, but you have ignored it, as you have ignored the peer-reviewed paper that points out similarities between BFS and LW. I can understand that yet, in later postings, you offer papers that you, apparently, wish for others to read!

>I have invented a computer syntax that explain
> the problems of meaning as use and grammar better than
> Wittgenstein did. In fact, I don't declare this issue -- I
> show it. I show how language assertion can be mirrored or
> captured by a computing syntax. Before my work will
> appear, we only have two methods available for analyzing
> language use: we diagram sentences, or we use some sort of
> symbolic logic (or modal logic).

What?!?!? Diagramming sentences and symbolic logic are about "language use"? And...wait...you are going to tell me that that view is somehow consistent with later Wittgenstein?!?!?

> Rather than having only a
> syntax for logic (symbolism) and for language's structure
> (diagramming sentences), I have created a new analytical
> device: a computer script for the "thoughts" of language.
> All that language thoughts are, are brain script. Rather
> than assert this, I am showing it. I am laboring to finish
> the scripts and to therefore show the confusions of
> philosophers, lawyers, political scientists -- behaviorists,
> the academy (you name it)
>  
> Language only ever means what it asks a brain to do. 

So if I ask someone for a glass of water, I am really "asking their brain"? And you assert that this is somehow consistent with later Wittgenstein? 

Arrrghhh,
Glen





WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality [message #1242 is a reply to message #1189] Wed, 23 September 2009 17:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Guest Not Logged In

--- On Sun, 9/20/09, SWM <SWMirsky@aol.com> wrote:


From: SWM <SWMirsky@aol.com>
Subject: [Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality
To: wittrs@freelists.org
Date: Sunday, September 20, 2009, 10:49 PM


<snip>

Mirsky: I'm sorry if Glen doesn't feel my disagreement with him as to whether Wittgenstein is a behaviorist is correct but I, at least, have Wittgenstein's own words on the matter (posted earlier in an exchange with Cayuse) about how his claim is not behaviorism.

GS: Wittgenstein's claims are beside the point.

Mirsky: My main beef with Glen (aside from his rather thin skin when anyone disagrees with him about his theses re: behaviorism) is in his argument that mental phenomena (thoughts, mental images, ideas, memories, etc.) are properly referred to as behavior, too, and thus we save behaviorism! While it is certainly possible to expand the meaning of "behavior" as Glen and Gerardo do, I have argued that the end result is simply to call something behaviorism that isn't.

GS: So...you are claiming that Skinner is not a "behaviorist"?

WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


[Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality [message #1243 is a reply to message #1242] Wed, 23 September 2009 18:12 Go to previous message
SWMirsky is currently offline  SWMirsky
Messages: 188
Registered: August 2009
Senior Member
--- In Wittrs@yahoogroups.com, Glen Sizemore <gmsizemore2@...> wrote:
>
>
> --- On Sun, 9/20/09, SWM <SWMirsky@...> wrote:
>
>
> From: SWM <SWMirsky@...>
> Subject: [Wittrs] Re: On Wittgenstein and Originality
> To: wittrs@...
> Date: Sunday, September 20, 2009, 10:49 PM
>
>
> <snip>
>
> Mirsky: . . . I, at least, have Wittgenstein's own words on the matter (posted earlier in an exchange with Cayuse) about how his claim is not behaviorism.
>
> GS: Wittgenstein's claims are beside the point.
>
> Mirsky: My main beef with Glen (aside from his rather thin skin when anyone disagrees with him about his theses re: behaviorism) is in his argument that mental phenomena (thoughts, mental images, ideas, memories, etc.) are properly referred to as behavior, too, and thus we save behaviorism! While it is certainly possible to expand the meaning of "behavior" as Glen and Gerardo do, I have argued that the end result is simply to call something behaviorism that isn't.
>
> GS: So...you are claiming that Skinner is not a "behaviorist"?

It's possible that Skinner did the same thing you and Gerardo do: expand the notion of "behavior" to a lot more than what we would recognize, via ordinary language, as behavior. But I'm no expert in Behaviorism or Skinner so I don't know.

I have said here before that I find it hard to credit claims by some that Behaviorism completely disregards mental phenomena. I tend to see the Behaviorist thesis as a prescriptive one for researchers rather than a theoretical claim about what is going on inside our heads. But I could be wrong about that since this is a fairly fuzzy area. However, if Skinner espoused the expansive view as you and Gerardo have claimed, then he would have been guilty of the same mistake you guys have made in my opinion (which is as flawed as your so-called merelogical fallacy).

If it's all behavior, on a theoretical level, then there isn't a lot to be gained by way of explaining what's going on vis a vis our subjective experience because a rose by any other name . . . etc.

As to your point about ascribing to brains what we sometimes (and usually) ascribe to persons, I think you are also mistaken and that Sean has it right (whether he's right about "brain scripts" is a different question). There is no reason not to speak of brains as agential in certain contexts anymore than there is not to speak of limbs (his left arm suddenly extended) or muscles (the muscles in the arm contracted on one side and expanded on the other, thereby extending his left arm), etc.

Brains produce minds and whatever we mean by minds. As I understand it, we mean by "minds" the mental aspect of our experience, our mental lives, which includes mental events like thoughts, memories, images, feelings, sensations, perceptions, ideas, etc. You and Gerardo want to call these covert behaviors but my view is that that adds nothing while confusing the issue. We do have mental lives, private experiences, and that's just how things are. Insofar as minds are the product of certain things certain kinds of brains do, it makes perfect sense to speak of brains thinking as opposed to the muscles in our left arms, our stomachs or our kidneys, say.

There are contexts when we want to speak of brains doing things and ways to speak of that. Blanket, across the board disavowals of such usages don't work and aren't consistent with the open-ended approach of Wittgenstein.

Did Wittgenstein's work have some affinities with Behaviorism? Yes. Did he consider himself one? No. Does that matter? No, but the work he did does and there is plenty in his work that is NOT consistent with the kind of radical Behaviorist approach you seem to support.

SWM


WEB VIEW: http://tinyurl.com/ku7ga4
TODAY: http://alturl.com/whcf
3 DAYS: http://alturl.com/d9vz
1 WEEK: http://alturl.com/yeza
GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com/group/Wittrs
YAHOO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wittrs/
FREELIST: http://www.freelists.org/archive/wittrs/09-2009


Previous Topic: [Wittrs] Whether "cognitive maps" is a meaningful expression
Next Topic: [Wittrs] Pateman On Wittgenstein Chomsky, Behaviorists & Cognitivists
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Sun Feb 25 20:35:36 EST 2018

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.01790 seconds