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Ch. 1 - Words and Worlds 
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Do we have thoughts without words? Is thinking a matter of talking to oneself? Pinker, I think, is describing the world of thought as largely a matter of speaking. The stuff of thought is language in motion. And the motion of language follows, it seems, rules of transmission: verbs require proper utilization...they simply wont fit where they don't belong. Even children know this! Actually, it's because children know this (without being able to have learned it) that we can even talk about it.

Interestingly, the key to this linguistic fact is found entirely in the ear: it is an auditory discovery delivered by way of speaking kidlets. Adult linguists then capture these sounds as scripted alphabet and position them onto paper, or as pixels on a screen.

We might say we are hardwired for language: capturing the stuff of thought with the metaphor of computation and machinery. In this case, the choice of metaphor does form the world we describe.



Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:16 pm
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Post Re: Tracking Pinker - without the book:
JulianTheApostate wrote:
Q wrote:
I've just joined BOOKTALK (and wish I'd found y'all before) and I'm intrigued by Pinkers work.

Welcome! Have you read anything of Pinker's?


Thank you for the welcome. My only contact with Pinker's work has been through some of his video conferences and stuff I've picked up from the 'net - it's likely to remain so as here in Argentina book orders carry about two months delay and $20 or $30 US worth of postage. His presentations are done with flair and style and the little I've seen of his writing also - however I'm skeptical about his approach: If it is grounded on Noam Chomsky (not one of my favourites) and E O Wilson, I think I'll just watch the debate here for now, and make totally inappropriate comments from time to time. I am hoping he has something new to dish up though.

:) Q



Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:27 pm
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