Re: Human language (long)

MSCob (
19 Jan 1997 19:08:33 GMT

John Halloran wrote:

Actually, I have read almost all of Pinker's very long and dense book.
Nowhere in it did I find anything but evidence for how the brain/mind
and uses logic (aka syntax). In fact, I found the reference to the young
child who, missing his left hemisphere, had his right hemisphere acquire
language in an only slightly degraded fashion in Pinker's book. I don't
all his vast material is fully integrated in his own mind.

I don't believe that thinking and logic are the same thing at all as
language. Language can convey thoughts and reasoning, and also can convey
emotions. People can think and also feel quite efficiently without
language. (But it's hard to convey a lot of thoughts without language.)
A study years ago (40s?) by a woman psychologist whose name I have
forgotten, married to some famous biologist (does anyone recognize this?)
found that scientists tend to report they do research thinking visually
rather than in words, in contrast to psychologists and social scientists,
who generally report they think in words.

However, I haven't read Pinker and can't comment on your overall
objections to that book. Mary Coberly