Re: [xmca] XM, C's and H's

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Tue Dec 16 2008 - 00:12:50 PST

I promise to follow up on those essays Derek, but let me ask
you one more question.

Do you think heat exists, or is it a metaphor or fiction or
something, like consciousness. And what's the difference?


Derek Melser wrote:
> Thanks Andy,
> I knew of the book, and have actually skimmed it, but didn't notice the
> quality of his account of folk theory. I've had a good look at it now.
> It's a lot more interesting, as a defence of folk psychology, than the
> other stuff I read on the subject for my PhD. But I think, if this of
> Bruner grabs you, that you would find my own account of folk psychology
> (alias 'theory theory') interesting too. It makes up the first part of
> the first of two chapters ('Where our notion of the mind comes from 1' &
> '2') in that stunning feat of anti-cognitivism, /The Act of Thinking...
> /(browseable on Google books aussi).
> I remember having to bone up on the Grice stuff about reciprocal
> communicative intentions some decades ago. In my view (see:
> ) the cooperative
> aspects of verbal communication are relatively superficial and,
> fundamentally, verbal communication is a /concerted/ activity (of
> speaker and hearer).
> I still think the Santa analogy holds good. 'It's just a children's
> story.' As long as the child knows what really goes on at Christmas, who
> it is who is really giving the prezzies, the realisation that Santa is a
> myth shouldn't be too difficult. But, you're right, it's very different,
> in practice, with 'mind' (etc.). Even if you can point precisely to what
> the metaphor is about, what the reality underlying the metaphor consists
> of, what 'mind' is a metaphor /for/, people are still going to be
> incredulous, even indignant.
> I remember as a young philosophy tutor steeped in Ryle, commenting to a
> psychiatrist (a friend's father, head of a large institution) that I had
> a lot of trouble getting my tutorial class to even understand the idea
> that, really, there is no such thing as 'the mind'. His expression
> suddenly became grim. He said, "Do they really let you teach that?"
> One last thing. I'm not an atheist any more than I am a behaviourist.
> (Nor, of course, am I a naive theist, or a naive realist about folk
> psychology). Hopefully, my views in both areas are a bit more
> sophisticated. Not going along with the folk myths doesn't necessarily
> imply a defection from whatever solidarity is around, though. For example,
> Merry Christmas.
> Derek
> 2008/12/16 Andy Blunden < <>>
> At last! I've been driving myself crazy over this one. The
> discussion of "Folk Psychology" I liked was in:
> *Jerome Bruner. Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures on Mind and Culture*
> It's on Google books, so you can check it out there. Sorry for all
> that! :(
> Andy
> Andy Blunden wrote:
> Derek, I should sleep some more, and then maybe I'd remember not
> only how to spell an author's name, but also which author I was
> reading! My apologies. I will continue trying to discover in
> which book I found this interesing argument.
> But in the meantime, I was not absolutely completely deceiving
> you in that Tomasello has an extended argument about what he
> calls "Gricean Communicative intention," the drift of which is
> that you can only make sense of people's speech and actions on
> the basis that the speaker assumes that the listener knows what
> the speaker's intention is, and that the speaker knows that the
> listener knows that the speaker knows that the listener knows
> the speaker's intention, and so on ad infinitum. In my words a
> rational knowledge of "folk psychology" is presupposed in
> communicative action.
> Andy
> Derek Melser wrote:
> Andy,
> I was looking up Tomasello's 'Origins of Human
> Communication' on google books -- as you were writing this
> last email of yours, as it happens -- hoping to browse the
> bit on folk psychology, but it assures me there is no
> reference to 'folk psychology' in the entire book. How can
> this be???
> DM
> 2008/12/16 Andy Blunden <
> <> <
> <>>>
> Oops, I meant Michael Tomasello. (I realised this while
> asleep last
> night! Isn't that weird?)
> Andy
> Andy Blunden wrote:
> Michael Thomasino has a nice bit about "folk
> psychology" in his
> "Origins of Human Communication" where he points out
> that folk
> psychology exists as a real force in human life and
> goes from
> there into a very interesting argument. You should
> have a look
> at it.
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Received on Tue Dec 16 00:13:18 2008

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