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LINGUIST List 18.218

Mon Jan 22 2007

Qs: Rules and Representations: A Ghost in the Machine

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        1.    Carlos Garcia Wegener, Rules and Representations: A Ghost in the Machine


Message 1: Rules and Representations: A Ghost in the Machine
Date: 18-Jan-2007
From: Carlos Garcia Wegener <cgwuniovi.es>
Subject: Rules and Representations: A Ghost in the Machine


1. Do modern linguistic theories (specially Chomsky's MP) assume, more or
less explicitly, Marr's distinction between computational, algorithmic, and
implementational levels, even if in Jackendoff's version (brain /
computational mind / phenomenological mind)?

2. And, if this is the case, are linguistic representations assumed to be
'autonomous' and more or less independent of neurobiological processes, as
the computer-metaphor asserts?

3. Why not to identify linguistic computations with different states of
brain's activity at different levels of organization (distributed systems,
local systems, circuits ...) and only a 'behavioural' level of organization
above Marr's (simplistic) implementational level.

4. How can a hypothetical computational level of representation of
cognitive processes 'exorcise the ghost in the machine'? Aren't
computations the modern homunculus?

5. Is the mind/brain distinction (and specially the computer-metaphor) a
new instantiation of cartesian dualism, as hold, for example, by Damasio or
Changeux & Dehaene?

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
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