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james_h

Volition of Animals

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Beyond quips, I see that none dare respond to anything I have said regarding animal capability toward language, nor volition's origins.

What can be said? We all cower in fear of the clarity and depth of your arguments. I mean, afterall, who could possibly argue with the precision of your "dynamic, generativeness and displacement," not to mention the forcefulness of your "determinism is a comprehensive system." Clearly we all know when we have been outclassed. :dough:

Besides, aren't you being irresponsible by wasting your valuable time on such minor issues as these, when according to your view you should be spending all your waking hours solving the problem of death?

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Beyond quips, I see that none dare respond to anything I have said regarding animal capability toward language, nor volition's origins.

Silence implies neither acquiescence nor resignation in argument. There may be other, let's say, less-flattering-to-you reasons for silence.

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What can be said? We all cower in fear of the clarity and depth of your arguments. I mean, afterall, who could possibly argue with the precision of your "dynamic, generativeness and displacement," not to mention the forcefulness of your "determinism is a comprehensive system." Clearly we all know when we have been outclassed. :dough:

Dynamicism= The ability to add new words to language

Generativeness= The ability to utilize syntactic structure to create novel sentences

Displacement= The ability to abstract utilizing language

The latter half of the Determinism is comprehensive argument you conveniently left out was that which said determinism can not spontaneously become undetermined, one can not go from actions which are caused by prior events to actions which are not cause by the past.

If you would like to dredge up past arguments, how about the evidence you once proposed as valid, that action precedes neurological activity? Care to expound that for your audience?

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Generativeness= The ability to utilize syntactic structure to create novel sentences

A computer search of the Citation Database, which includes science, social science, and the arts and humanities, representing some 32,525,372 journal papers from 1945 through 2004, showed exactly zero journal articles that contained the words "generativeness" and "language." In fact, out of the 32,525, 372 aforementioned journal papers, only four even contain the word "generativeness," and none of their meanings coincide with yours. So the fact that you described the issue with that word in your prior post, without even bothering to provide us with your meaning, demonstrates the bizareness of the world that you live in. Go snow someone else, somewhere else, someplace where neuro sophists are appreciated.

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A computer search of the Citation Database, which includes science, social science, and the arts and humanities, representing some 32,525,372 journal papers from 1945 through 2004, showed exactly zero journal articles that contained the words "generativeness" and "language." In fact, out of the 32,525, 372 aforementioned journal papers, only four even contain the word "generativeness," and none of their meanings coincide with yours. So the fact that you described the issue with that word in your prior post, without even bothering to provide us with your meaning, demonstrates the bizareness of the world that you live in. Go snow someone else, somewhere else, someplace where neuro sophists are appreciated.

Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition

Generative, adjective, Linguistics. Able to generate, generative grammar, A (generative) grammar of a language is a theory or set of statements which tells us in a formal and explicit way which strings of the basic elements of the language are permitted, A generative grammar is based upon certain fundamental kernel sentences, out of which the language builds up its elaborate structure by various techniques of permutation, replacement, addition and deletion

You focus on the most meaningless of quibbles and avoid at all the possibility that your theory of animal attributes can be confronted. I'm sure you'll have some impressive database which will aid you in discounting this too, so you need not reply.

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Dynamicism= The ability to add new words to language

Generativeness= The ability to utilize syntactic structure to create novel sentences

Displacement= The ability to abstract utilizing language

I'm sorry, you are wrong, wrong, and wrong. The term "Dynamism" is just nonsense; the concept you refer to in the first line is known as "productivity". There is no term "generativeness", which I surmise you invented (assuming that you didn't cadge the term from one of those obscure articles that Stephen referred to (hey, Stephen, if you have a citation, I'd be happy to give you the dirt on the articles). The term "generative" is rooted in Emil Post's mathematics, and was popularised by Chomsky; a "generative" system is simply an explicit, formal system. You should read Aspects of the Theory of Syntax to get a more solid clue about what the term means. "Generative" is significant only in the context of late 50's linguistics, where the opposition was literal atheoreticity and nihilism. As such, neither human language nor slug communication is "generative". Being generative is a property os a theory of something, not the thing itself. The worst misunderstanding of yours here is "displacement", which is the property of being able to communicate about things other than the here and now (i.e. to talk of cabbages and kings when no cabbages or kings are present or immediately relevant).

No animal communication system demonstrates productivity, and the linguistic realization of displacement is only represented as the ability to communicate "Do X now", where X has some marginal connection to entities not here right now -- e.g. "Feed me now" (the food is not visible), "Something's wrong" (somewhere, not here), "Go there and do this". Animals have nothing even marginally resembling language. While there is no question that human language evolved from something else that is instantiated in animals, we have no clue what that thing is. One thing we know is that it is not at all related to the communicative systems of our biologically nearest relatives.

The reason why none have "dared" (a funny dialect form of "bothered" I suppose) to refute your unsubstantiated assertions about animal language is that they are light years more lunatic than the extremist and discredited claims of Fouts, Patterson, the Gardeners, and their ilk. No even Roger the Ape Man thinks that monkeys actually have language, even under his Derridist approach to language.

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You focus on the most meaningless of quibbles

I took the best part of your post I could find.

I'm sure you'll have some impressive database which will aid you in discounting this too, so you need not reply.

I wouldn't think of it. But, say hello to Chomsky for me. By the way, is Chomsky also spending full time now on solving your problem of death?

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I'm sorry, you are wrong, wrong, and wrong. The term "Dynamism" is just nonsense; the concept you refer to in the first line is known as "productivity". There is no term "generativeness", which I surmise you invented (assuming that you didn't cadge the term from one of those obscure articles that Stephen referred to (hey, Stephen, if you have a citation, I'd be happy to give you the dirt on the articles).

One of the uses was mathematical, having to do with probabilities. Two of the papers used the term as psychological jargon (cueing, etc.) and the fourth paper had to do with the role of the canon in regulating culture! I was just playing with our budding Chomskyite. Incidentally, as much as I always enjoy your humor ("Roger the Ape Man"), I think the prize has to go to AisA for his "Mr. Ed" comment. :dough:

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I wonder what are the set of objective and specific criteria that can be used to test whether animals have volition?

Personally I think the connections between molecular biology-physiology-animal and human behavior are most fascinating and little understood. There are a lot of open questions and I believe animal volition and determinism are among them.

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