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i             Jon Hellevig   A BIOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY             VOLUME I:THE CASE AGAINST NOAM CHOMSKY             VOLUME...
ii                       Published by Russia Advisory Group Oy                              First edition published 2010  ...
iiiCONTENTSAnnotation ……………………………………………….………….1Abstract ………………………………………………….………….1Introduction ……………………………………………….………….3A ...
iv     Volitional Expressive Behavior in Apes ……..…………………154     John Locke ………………………………...……………………159     Urban Legends a...
vA Biological Philosophy, Volume II: Mental Processing1 Mind …………......……….………………...………………….2932 Processes and Concepts ……...
vi     The Mastery of Learned Unconsciousness ……….…..….……..417     Conceptualization ...……………………………..……….…….419     Notes ...
A Biological Philosophy                                                 1ANNOTATIONThere is a continuity of expressions an...
2   Both biological and social phenomena are reflections of expressionsand interpretations. The continuous repetitive and ...
A Biological Philosophy                                                3presently done, of trying to match the received ac...
Introduction                                                           5INTRODUCTIONAll philosophy is a critique of langua...
6                                             The Case Against Noam ChomskyThe Ability to Speak vs. LanguageThe most impor...
Introduction                                                              7how Harris himself actually chose to define lan...
8                                            The Case Against Noam Chomskylack mass and energy and can therefore not be st...
Introduction                                                           9we should delimit it. This is, of course, a blow t...
10                                          The Case Against Noam Chomskystand and respect the idea to try to identify mea...
Introduction                                                            11etc. represent merely interpretations of the nar...
12                                           The Case Against Noam Chomskyoccurs as mental processes which eventually lead...
Introduction                                                         13ic marker. This illustrates how the bodily (somatic...
14                                          The Case Against Noam Chomskyings. In accordance with this conception, I hold ...
Introduction                                                           15continuum. Thus ‗mental processes‘ are those ever...
16                                           The Case Against Noam Chomskyfuse the immateriality of cognitive expressions ...
Introduction                                                           17small sub-process presently reflected in consciou...
18                                          The Case Against Noam Chomskyconnection between the natural biological world a...
Introduction                                                          19to perceive various phenomena). These kinds of con...
20                                          The Case Against Noam Chomskyneural reaction patterns that correlate the new e...
Introduction                                                          21and stress that whatever abstractions we may perce...
22                                          The Case Against Noam Chomskyent in nature that they would merit the separate ...
Introduction                                                         23role assigned to ‗consciousness,‘ not as a juxtapos...
24                                          The Case Against Noam Chomskythis book, all organic activity can be seen as fu...
Introduction                                                          25they are in working memory assigned a place in rel...
26                                         The Case Against Noam Chomskylogical processing of stimuli from social practice...
Introduction                                                            27around as it is presently done. And doing so we ...
28                                          The Case Against Noam Chomskylogical organisms (biological evolution) we refer...
Introduction                                                            29theories. I thought, it would be only natural th...
30                                          The Case Against Noam Chomskythere any reference to him. And this is a pity, f...
Introduction                                                          31Perceptions in Competition (Hellevig 2006) form th...
33    A Biological Philosophy           Volume I:The Case Against Noam Chomsky
34
Speech and Language                                                      351 SPEECH AND LANGUAGEThe limits of my language ...
36                                           The Case Against Noam Chomskypractices of speaking,‘ ‗social practices of lan...
Speech and Language                                                    37language practices they take part in, are to be e...
38                                            The Case Against Noam Chomsky   The conception ‗imitation‘ and its significa...
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The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
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The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
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The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
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The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
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The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
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The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
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The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
The case against_noam_chomsky_mental_processing_a_biological_philosopy_vol_i_and_ii
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  1. 1. i Jon Hellevig A BIOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY VOLUME I:THE CASE AGAINST NOAM CHOMSKY VOLUME II: MENTAL PROCESSING Russia Advisory Group, Oy 2010
  2. 2. ii Published by Russia Advisory Group Oy First edition published 2010 Copyright Jon Hellevig All rights reserved.No part of this publication, its printed or any electronic version, may be copied, repro-duced, transmitted in any form or any means without the prior permission of the pub- lisher. Publisher Russia Advisory Group Oy Hermannin rantatie 12 A, 00580 Helsinki, Finland www.russiaadvisorygroup.com email: info@russiaadvisorygroup.com Author‘s personal internet site: www.hellevig.net Cover by Lyudmila Ryabkina Typeset and layout by Avenir It Solutions, St. Petersburg, Russia Printed at Painohäme Oy, Ylöjärvi, Finland www.painohame.fi ISBN 978-952-99785-7-1 (printed book) ISBN 978-952-99785-8-8 (e-book / PDF) This is an e-book / PDF version of the book
  3. 3. iiiCONTENTSAnnotation ……………………………………………….………….1Abstract ………………………………………………….………….1Introduction ……………………………………………….………….3A Biological Philosophy, Volume I: The Case Against NoamChomsky1 Speech and Language ……………………………….………….35 Main Principles of a Theory of Speech and Language ....…….….35 Conceptual Problems due to the Failure to Distinguish between Speech and Language .………………..………...……..47 Speech on the Continuum of Expressions. .…….………………..49 Speech vs. Writing ..…………………………………..………….53 Interpretation of Feelings ………………………………............57 The Immateriality of Words and Language ………..……………57 The Thingly Fallacy (Language of Things) .…….……………..67 The ―Structure‖ of Language ..…………………………………...68 There are no Languages .………………..…………………..……69 Ur-Language …………………………………....………………..78 Grammar, Syntax and Rules …………………………………...79 The Real Limits of Language …………………………………....88 Meaning …………………………………....…………………….90 Meaning as Neural Processes ………………………………….....992 Evolution of Speech (the Ability to Speak) ……..…………..103 Evidence from Primate Research …….…………………………114 Evidence from Mirror Neurons …….…………………………..118 Lamarck‘s Vision on the Evolution of Speech ……..…………..1233 Notes on the Philosophy of Language …..………..…………129 Saussure ………………………………………………….……..131 Bloomfield ..…………………………………………………….137 John Firth ..…………………………………………..………….146 Roy Harris and Integrational Linguistics …...……...………….147
  4. 4. iv Volitional Expressive Behavior in Apes ……..…………………154 John Locke ………………………………...……………………159 Urban Legends about Locke ………………………………..….1664 A Review of Chomsky‟s Verbal Behavior ….……………….173 The Foundations of Chomsky‘s Speculation …….……………..173 Chomsky‘s Questions to the Linguist ….……………………….174 A Summary of Chomsky‘s Main Fallacies ....…………………..178 The Surprising Ability to Learn ……………………………...181 The ―Language Faculty‖ ………………………………….…..191 The Growth of the ―Language Faculty‖ …..………….……….197 Empirical Studies in Pseudo-Biology …..………………………201 The ―Mind/Brain‖ ……………………………..……..…..…...204 Failure to Distinguish between Speech and Language ….……..208 Briefly about the other Fallacies ………………………………..210 Chomsky‘s Capitulation …………………………………....….215 Grammar and Syntax …………………………………...………220 The Universal Grammar ………………………………...……231 The Meaningless Argument ………………………………….....234 The End of Chomsky‘s Grammar .…………………………….237 The Stimulus-Free and Context-Free Arguments ………………238 Meaningless Linguistics ………………………………………242 The Ideal Speaker-Hearer ………………………………………244 Competence-Performance Theory .……………………....……246 Transmutation Rules ..……………………………..…..……….251 Chomsky‘s Definition of Language .……………….….………260 How Children Learn Language .……………………..…..……265 Chomsky‘s Rise to Prominence .…………………………..……272 The Triumph over Behaviorism .………………………….……272 Chomsky and the New Brave Computer World .………...……..279
  5. 5. vA Biological Philosophy, Volume II: Mental Processing1 Mind …………......……….………………...………………….2932 Processes and Concepts …….…………………………...……303 Rigidity of Conceptual Definitions .……………………….……307 Deconstruction of Concepts ………..…….…………………..…310 No Philosophical, Only Linguistic Problems .………..….….…312 Language of Things and the Thingly Fallacy .……….…….….315 Things and Perceptual Abstractions .…………….………..……319 Language of Feelings ..………………………..………….…….322 Thingly Philosophers vs. Process-Philosophers .………..…326 Locke‘s Advice ..……………………………………..……327 Order out of Chaos ..…………………………………..………329 The Fallacious Belief in Innate Knowledge .…………….……..3323 Mental Processing ..…………………………………………344 Neural Processes vs. Mental Processes and States vs. Processes ……………………………………………351 New Dualism ..………………………………………….……357 More about New Dualism ………………..……………..……. 359 Material Processes and Immaterial Reflections ………….…….364 The Organic Process Model ...…..……………………..……..366 Mental Evolution and Unity and Interdependency of Organic Funtions ………….………………369 Mental and Somatic Processes ……………..……………....…..374 Environmental Stimuli and Homeostasis ..………………….….380 Feedback ....……………………………………..………………386 Mental Images and Conceptualization ..………………….……..3844 Feelings, Emotions and Consciousness ………………………397 A Deconstruction of the Concepts of Neuroscience ………...…403 The Perversion of Consciousness ………………………………404 The Subjectivity Problem ...……………………………….…….409 A Demystification of Consciousness ..…..…………………..…411 Web of Consciousness ...…………….………………….………414 Unconsciousness …………………….……………………….....415
  6. 6. vi The Mastery of Learned Unconsciousness ……….…..….……..417 Conceptualization ...……………………………..……….…….419 Notes on Thought and Reason ………………………….………424 Emotions ....……………….……………………………………431 The Carousel of Emotions .....…………….…………………….4375 Expressions ....………………………….……………………..4456 Interpretations ....…………………..………………………….455 Qualia Mania ....…………………….……………….……….…460 Mirror Neurons and Interpretation ……….…………………...4687 Memory ……………..…………………………………………475 Summary of Main Ideas Concerning ‗Memory‘ ..……………...475 About ‗Memory‘ ..………………………………………………479 ―Memory Storage‖ ...…………………………………………..487 Other Conceptual Fallacies and the Unity and Interdependency of Phenomena ………………..…..………….489 Memory Traces ………………………………………………...494 Contemporary Ideas of Memory Traces ..……………………..500 Present Stimuli vs. Past Stimuli .……………………….……….5018 Kandel‟s Search for the Neural Coordinates of the Concept „Memory‟ ……………………………………………504 Unity and Interdependency of Neural Phenomena …………..…507 Explicit and Implicit Memory ……………………..………..…508 Short-Term, Working, and Long-Term Memory …..………..…509 Kandel‘s Conceptual Minefield ………………………………514 More on Explicit and Implicit Memory ……………..….………517 Long-Term Potentiation ………………………….……...……..521 The Fatality of the Reductionist Approach …………………….528Notes ......…………………………………………...………………533Bibliography …………………………………………….……….547Index ……………………………………………………………..555
  7. 7. A Biological Philosophy 1ANNOTATIONThere is a continuity of expressions and interpretations from primordialbiological phenomena to phenomena of social life. Human cognitionrepresents reflections of biological mental processing of environmentalstimuli that cumulate in feelings. In speech and by other means of ver-bal behavior humans express an interpretation of feelings. The ex-change of expressions and interpretations in human communicationcumulates to social practices, human cultures, of which the social prac-tice of verbal behavior (speaking), or language practices, is the suprememanifestation. The continuum of expressions and interpretations on anevolutionary scale and in the various acts of human life displays a grad-ually increasing level of cognitive appraisal based on mentally concep-tualized experience as a function of increasingly complex and sophisti-cated mental processes. The ability to mentally process complex cogni-tive feelings corresponds with the ability to express these feelings in amore sophisticated fashion, speech and the corresponding cognitive ab-ilities representing the evolutionary culmination of these processes. Thecontinuum of expressions and interpretations remains connected by thebiological ability to speak and the social practice of speaking (verbalbehavior), i.e., language which feeds the body/brain with the externalstimuli that it processes..ABSTRACTThis biological philosophy depicts a unified theory of natural and socialsciences showing the continuity between the biological and social phe-nomena of life, the latter representing reflections of the biological ex-pressions of life. I argue that most fundamentally all phenomena of lifeare functions of the organic activity of an organism relating itself to itsenvironment, which means that an organism is constantly interpretingthe stimuli that it has become genetically endowed to detect. The stimu-li are interpreted in neural processes, which on a higher evolutionaryscale may be called mental processes. This mental interpretation yieldsfeelings which represent a mental, cognitive, dimension of the organichomeostatic system. In higher level mental processes feelings becomeconceptualized cognitive feelings which on the level of the human or-ganism are expressed by a range of bodily expressions and ultimatelyby speech, which thus represents interpretation of feelings.
  8. 8. 2 Both biological and social phenomena are reflections of expressionsand interpretations. The continuous repetitive and imitative interactionsbetween human cognitive expressions and interpretations amount to so-cial practices, to all what we understand as human culture, and the ma-terial achievements of human culture. At the social level expressionsstand for immaterial ideas which the human enacts by material bodilyexpressions, of which speech represents the most sophisticated means.The expressions themselves remain immaterial reflections of the mentalprocesses. For a proper understanding of all social phenomena, we need to rec-ognize that speech corresponds to a concrete biological activity whereaslanguage represents the social practice of speaking. Language (words,their perceived parts and combinations) does not correspond to anythingphysical or biological, and merely represents perceptual abstractions weform based on our experience of verbal behavior. Language and wordsdo not demonstrate mass and energy which would be a necessary pre-condition for the postulation that they are material, that they exist (thatthey are). From this also follows that (the non-existing) words cannotpossibly mean anything and that instead people mean by the words theypronounce. In present linguistic theory, the necessity to distinguish betweenspeech (the ability to speak) and language (the social practices of speak-ing) has not been recognized with great detriment to the science. In themisconceived practices of contemporary linguistics scholars also treatlanguage and words as if they would be some kind of existing entities,the material properties of which the linguist studies. As this fallaciousapproach to linguistics is most prominently propagated by Chomsky, Ihave chosen to illustrate my paradigm of expressions and interpreta-tions in contrast to Chomsky‘s theories. In addition to the aforemen-tioned thingly fallacy, Chomsky also labors under a series of gross mis-conceptions as to the biology of ―language.‖ He should understand thatnot language is biological but speech, and then he should not any moreconceive of the social practices of language being innate features of thehuman body/brain. – The ability to speak has evolved, whereas lan-guage and all other social phenomena are not subject to evolution. To properly grasp these ideas, we need to drop the present concep-tual method of science, and the related misconceived ―scientific me-thod,‖ in favor of a descriptive process theory, by which we strive todepict the processes and the phenomena they give rise to instead, as it is
  9. 9. A Biological Philosophy 3presently done, of trying to match the received academic concepts to theunderlying processes. Through this insight we understand, e.g., that‗mind‘ should not be treated as an existing entity and rather be seen as amanifestation of the biological processes of a body interpreting envi-ronmental stimuli (most prominently the stimuli in form of verbal sym-bols). By clearing the science from the conceptual debris, I completethe materialist paradigm and propose to conceive of human cognition interms of a new dualism, the dualism between the body and environmen-tal stimuli. This, whereas earlier materialistic explanations have ignoredthe necessity to include in the paradigm the external stimuli being men-tally processed. Instead of the ‗soul‘ the external influence isrepresented by the environmental stimuli. These mental processes yieldthe perpetual interactions between the material body and the immaterialexpressions and interpretations of which all human cognition and cul-ture are manifestations.
  10. 10. Introduction 5INTRODUCTIONAll philosophy is a critique of language (Wittgenstein, Tractatus4.0031).Expressions and Interpretations – Interpretation of FeelingsIn this book I present a biological philosophy. This biological philoso-phy represents the first true and complete unified theory of natural andsocial sciences showing the continuity between the biological and socialphenomena of life, the latter representing reflections of the biologicalexpressions of life. The bridge which links the social with the natural,biological, is formed by human feelings. Feelings are results of neural(mental) processing of environmental stimuli in connection with the or-ganic system of homeostasis. The aspects of cognitive feelings whichwe call thoughts come about by merging the learned concepts from so-cial practices (language practices) with biological feelings. Thoughts,embedded in less consciously developed cognitive feelings, are thenexpressed in form of speech and by other volitional and non-volitionalsymbolic means of bodily expression. The feelings expressed by oneindividual are in turn cognitively (organically) interpreted by otherpeople, the corresponding neural processes affecting the body and itsbehavior both consciously and unconsciously. There is thus a conti-nuous cycle between the feelings expressed by one and all individualsand the expressions pertaining to an interpretation of feelings of others.I express this idea by the paradigm of expressions and interpretations.The continuous interaction between human cognitive expressions andinterpretations amounts to social practices, to all what we may refer toas the social dimension of life. Depending on our points of view, weperceive various fields of social practices which, however, are alwaysmerely aspects of the general exchange of expressions and interpreta-tions, aspects of a non-divisible social dimension of life. – Thus it isthis interaction between expressions and interpretations of feelings thathas created our social practices, all what we understand as human cul-ture, and the material achievements of human culture.
  11. 11. 6 The Case Against Noam ChomskyThe Ability to Speak vs. LanguageThe most important means for expression of feelings is speech, this iswhy I define speech as interpretation of feelings, although I need topoint out that all symbolic means of expression (such as bodily expres-sion, writing, forms of art, architecture) are forms of interpretation offeelings. I shall further in this book explain why I very much deliberate-ly say ‗interpretation of feelings‘ instead of ‗translation of thoughts.‘ Inthis paradigm it becomes crucial to understand the true essence ofspeech and especially the distinction between speech and language. Theability to speak and speech acts are biological, material, phenomena,whereas language is a social practice, of which we form perceptions inabstraction. Up to this day this has not been understood in linguistics;and this has led to great confusion in the science when both the biologi-cal ability (speech) and the perceptual abstractions (language), whichare formed based on the results of exercising this biological ability, arediscussed as if they were one and the same. Most importantly we needto understand that speech corresponds to real physical acts of behaviorwhich are enabled by the biological ability to speak. Speech and writingrepresent forms of verbal behavior. Language, however, does not cor-respond to anything physical or biological, and merely represents per-ceptual abstractions we form based on our experience of verbal beha-vior. I argue that this distinction has never been properly made, noteven by Saussure who as a lonely thinker had an idea of the necessity todo it. (I will discuss Saussure‘s conception of the distinction in chaptersSpeech and Language and mainly in Notes on the Philosophy of Lan-guage). - The confusion and the problem that follows from it are wellillustrated by a reference to Roy Harris. In my view Harris‘s linguisticphilosophy clearly represents the better of the contemporary traditions;therefore I turn to Harris to show how the confusion persists even onthe level where these issues are best understood. Harris acknowledgesthat linguists face a problem with replying to the question: ‗What islanguage‘? (1998: 15). This problem is, according to Harris, due to thereason that ―language involves at least three activities‖; these he lists as:(i) ―neural activity in the human brain,‖ (ii) ―muscular activity of thebody,‖ and (iii) ―social activity.‖ Harris then tells that these three activi-ties are variously interrelated in different definitions of language. Hestresses that whether one defines language as an activity or an ability(faculty) the problem remains. I shall note that, I have not discovered
  12. 12. Introduction 7how Harris himself actually chose to define language, however, in thisconnection it is clear that Harris did not realize that the way out of thedilemma is to identify, on the one hand, speech as pertaining to the bio-logical ability to speak and, on the other hand, language as the abstractperceptions we make of the social practice of speaking (social practiceof verbal behavior; language practices). The activities that he identifiedas pertaining to the question are mutually contradictory and confusingwhen they are all taken to refer to ‗language‘ – or, correspondingly,when they are all taken to refer to ‗speech‘ - but when we settle for re-ferring by the first two, (i) and (ii), to ‗speech‘ (the ability to speak andverbal behavior) and by the third, (iii), to ‗language‘ (the social prac-tice), then the problem disappears. - With exercising the biological abil-ity to speak we gain skills in the social language practices similarly likewhen we exercise the ability to run and kick a ball we gain experiencein the social practice of football. – In the course of the work on thispresent book, I have noted that there seems to be in modern science ingeneral a very serious problem of differentiating between what is a bio-logical ability and what is a socially acquired skill which has beenenabled by the ability. This particular fallacy amounts to one of themost fundamental fallacies on which Chomsky‘s erroneous theories arebased. Thus, for example, Neil Smith says in the Foreword toChomsky‘s New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind (2007a:x): ―Chomsky has long been famous (or notorious)‖ for claiming that ―asubstantial part of our knowledge of language is genetically determined,or innate. That something linguistic is innate is self evident from thefact that babies do – but cats, spiders and rocks do not – acquire lan-guage.‖ – Naturally ―something is innate,‖ but what is innate and genet-ically determined is not ―knowledge of language,‖ but the ability bywhich we acquire knowledge, or more properly by which we gain expe-rience and skills of language practices, or: interpret the verbal behaviorof others and express our interpretations of feelings. (Detailed discus-sions on this issue to follow further in the book).A Study of Expressions and InterpretationsActs of speech, verbal behavior, can be studied as objects of a naturalscience as the behavior corresponds to real organic processes. Lan-guage, however, cannot be studied as a natural science; language and allthe hypothetical elements of language are mere perceptual abstractionsand do not correspond to anything material; language and its elements
  13. 13. 8 The Case Against Noam Chomskylack mass and energy and can therefore not be studied as real objects.Language practices can only be described, interpreted in words. - I pro-pose to include linguistics into a broader study of expressions and inter-pretations with a clear differentiation between (i) the biological abilitiesto express and interpret, and (ii) the social practices which constitutehuman language. Further this entails that both in relation to the socialsphere and the biological we have to study, not language, but expres-sions, that is, study the biology of how expressions are organically pro-duced and the social practices of expression. By thus calling for a studyof expressions and interpretations instead of a study of the more narrowfields of speech and language another crucial implication follows. Thisis the necessity to admit into the realm of the study the whole act of bo-dily expressions and not only the alphabetical symbols by which we inabstraction depict the perceptions we form merely on the sound-patternsin exclusion of all the other aspects of the speech act.No Languages, Only Language PracticesI stressed above that we need to recognize that speech corresponds toreal physical acts of behavior which are rooted in the biological abilityto speak. Language, however, does not correspond to anything physicalor biological, and merely represents perceptual abstractions humansform based on their experience of verbal behavior. – Thus there are nolanguages. There is no language, there are no languages, there are nowords, there is no grammar, nor is there any syntax, in the sense thatthere are physical objects with mass and energy. What are thought of aslanguages are fundamentally language practices, that is, the more orless uniform styles of verbal behavior of people that communicate inclose proximity with each other by imitating each other‘s verbal beha-vior. By the concept ‗language‘ we should thus refer to various lan-guage practices such as, for example, ‗English,‘ French,‘ ‗Finnish,‘ and‗Russian.‘ We may speak of language practices of any community thatwe chose to study, and present the language practices of people in agiven village, a given suburb, of a given age in a given place, of a givenprofessions, social standing etc. When we speak about ‗language‘ in thegeneric sense we refer to all language practices at once, without an ef-fort to differentiate between the various language practices. We shallnote that as language practices are only perceptual abstractions, then wecan never identify what exactly a language practice consists of and how
  14. 14. Introduction 9we should delimit it. This is, of course, a blow to the people raised un-der the ideals of the misconceived ―scientific method,‖ who dream ofbeing able to identify specific ―languages‖ and their perceived thinglyelements with the precision of mathematics. We just have to live withthe fact that language practices are amorphous social phenomena, whichwe may only describe to the best of our satisfaction. When we attemptto describe a particular language practice, then we may only identify thecontours of the grand phenomena and the detailed aspects we perceiveto the extent we need to identify and interpret them. But the real scien-tific insight is that nothing exact will never correspond to the percep-tions one or another observer may form on these phenomena. All thedescriptions and interpretations we make on language practices mustremain subject to our stated assumptions for narrowing the field of real-ity.MeaningIn this book it is stressed that words do not mean anything in them-selves, and that instead people mean (express meanings) with the wordsthey use. Words, i.e. verbal symbols, and other linguistic particles, e.g.phonemes and morphemes (to which I refer as verbal symbolic devices)are, however, in language practices employed to a certain degree in auniform fashion. In language practices verbal symbols (including verbalsymbolic devices) are assigned meanings as they are employed and cor-respondingly people take them to mean something based on their obser-vations of this use of verbal symbols. As one person uses these symbolsin imitation of how other people have used them, then it is as if the ver-bal symbols would have meanings in themselves. We kind of copy themeanings we have experienced. And in this sense linguists are justifiedin tentatively identifying meanings in words. But this only insofar as thelinguist understands that these verbal symbols in reality do not have anyabsolute or inherent meanings in themselves. The study will thus yield adescription of what kind of meanings verbal symbols have been as-signed in various contexts, or what kind of meanings they have beentaken to carry.We also have to consider the question of meanings at the level ofgrammar (or syntax), that is, on the level of combination of the variousverbal symbols and symbolic devices. Chomsky and like-minded lin-guists have made a pseudo-science out of the question whether gram-mars have meanings or whether they are meaningless. Whereas I under-
  15. 15. 10 The Case Against Noam Chomskystand and respect the idea to try to identify meanings (in the sense that Iexplained it above) of verbal symbols and symbolic devices, I do, how-ever, propose to reject the whole idea as misconceived in relation togrammar (syntax). This because, as I point out, grammar is (when cor-rectly performed) merely a description of meaningful statements.Grammar as such cannot be said to be meaningful or meaningless, ra-ther the whole question is meaningless. People mean by their statementsin the contexts that the statements are produced and with the verbalsymbols that the statements consist of. Certainly the arrangements andcombinations of the symbols also serve to convey nuances of meanings,but these nuances may be expressed in infinite variances and can there-fore not in any way be regarded as functions of the grammar (syntax).To note, that not to any lesser degree than those verbal symbols that canbe depicted with the alphabet, meanings are also expressed by a lot ofother aspects of speech and verbal behavior such as intonation, strengthof voice and a host of other bodily expressions. Therefore if the study ofgrammar from point of view of meanings would make any sense, then itwould have to include all these other aspects of speech and verbal be-havior as well. And this would be an impossible task by the methods ofprecise science, instead these issues may only be alluded to and ex-plained by examples. In reality meanings are produced in the brain/body as functions ofneural processes of interpreting verbal stimuli. This is why each word isalways understood uniquely by each person in general, and by each per-son in any particular moment of life. Thus neural processing of the sti-muli that originate in verbal symbols represents always a private,unique and everchanging phenomenon. This naturally means that aword does not, and cannot, represent an objective meaning, as themeaning is created (interpreted) in the body by each unique act of men-tal processing. The conclusion that words do not mean anything but people mean bywords should of all the ideas presented in this book become the onewith the most general and immediate implications. This recognitionshould fundamentally change our attitude towards so-called facts andknowledge. With the belief in the hypothetical meanings of wordsshould also go the belief in certainty, the idea that by words some inhe-rent and infallible truths could possibly be revealed. This fallacious ideashould be replaced by the recognition that words, utterances, phrases
  16. 16. Introduction 11etc. represent merely interpretations of the narrator‘s feelings – andnothing more certain than that.The Biological Paradigm of Expressions and InterpretationsI first realized that all social phenomena correspond to the paradigm ofexpressions and interpretation, but when I studied the biological condi-tions for speech it occurred to me that the same holds true for all biolog-ical phenomena as well. I noticed that all biological phenomena are alsomanifestations of organic expressions and interpretations. Thus I cameto think of expressions and interpretations on a continuum which rangesfrom elementary physical movements to cognitive expressions and in-terpretations performed by a human being. Each organic act corres-ponds to an act of expression, the organism by its movements (reac-tions, external and internal) expresses its interpretation of a stimulus(set of stimuli); similarly, and in parallel to expressions, interpretationsare also movements in reaction to stimuli. In higher evolutionary formsof life, such as in the human these movements of expression and inter-pretation cumulate to cognitive expressions and interpretations in themental processes, which essentially consist of movements in form ofneural reaction patterns. Thus I first subsumed all the human social activities under the para-digm of expressions and interpretations, and later I noticed that thesame paradigm fits for the biological, organic, world that produces thesocial. Then I recognized that I had in fact discovered the continuumwhich joins the biological world and the social world, natural sciencesand social sciences, this is the continuum of expressions and interpreta-tions. I came to understand that life is a constant process of expressionsand interpretations. We humans, as all organisms, constantly interpretour environment, both the internal and the external. Homeostasis, thehomeostatic system, represents such a complex biological system of in-terpretation (and naturally in the other, reverse, dimension it is a systemof expressions). This is the life sustaining homeostatic system of a liv-ing body, i.e. the complex interrelations between the processes in thebody that interact to maintain a relatively stable state of equilibrium, ora tendency toward such a state, in the whole body at large by the conti-nuous adaptations of the constituent processes to external and internalstimuli from one organic action to another. On a higher level of cogni-tion the homeostatic system is enhanced by cognitive interpretation that
  17. 17. 12 The Case Against Noam Chomskyoccurs as mental processes which eventually lead to cognitive feelingsand thoughts, and their expression in speech.The Organic Process ModelThe expressions and interpretations paradigm, in turn, is connected withthe organic process model which depicts how various phenomena cor-respond to organic processes, which occur in organic bodies (most fun-damentally these bodies in themselves are bundles of processes), wherestimuli are being processed, which stimuli result in process outputs(reactions, expressions, reflections). These ideas bring us to the mostfundamental idea of life, as I see it; this is the idea that all expressionsand interpretations, all cognition and all cognitive operations and beha-vior, and therefore also speech, represent functions of the processeswhich occur when an organism posits itself in relation to its environ-ment, that is, interprets its environment in relation to itself. This inter-pretation is always at the end of the analysis about how environmentalstimuli affect the body and its parts through their effects on the organichomeostasis of the body. I argue that there is no difference in principlebetween how cognitive feelings and other type of stimuli affect the ho-meostasis; cognitive feelings which cumulate into ideas (thoughts, opi-nions, etc) merely represent an extension of the system of homeostasis,and thus form an integrated part of the homeostasis. When a human or-ganism processes stimuli it is de facto interpreting the environment orits position in the environment. We shall recognize that the startingpoint of a science of human behavior lies in understanding that all bio-logical processes (of which the social is an extension in form of expres-sions resulting in social practices) are at the end of the analysis aboutthe well-being of an organism in relation to its environment. An organ-ism has thus developed evolutionary inasmuch it has been able to coor-dinate and adapt all its movements, organic processes, in relation to theenvironment. In this evolutionary process the neural system has devel-oped to coordinate the other organic processes and organs in relation toeach other, and in relation to the environment (i.e. the internal environ-ment in relation to the external). The neural system has from the verybeginning been about coordinating the somatic system (the rest of thebody) and naturally it has continued to be so, only in a much morecomplex fashion. Each received environmental stimulus has an effecton one or another part of the body – this effect is recorded as the somat-
  18. 18. Introduction 13ic marker. This illustrates how the bodily (somatic) processing systemsprecede and interact with the mental processing system. Even the high-est cognitive mental processes are at the end of the analysis about thebody in relation to the environment, the difference (between cognitiveand more simple neural operations) being only in the higher degree ofcomplexity and multidimensionality of the processes.Homeostasis, the Gateway to Cognition, and MentalProcessingThese considerations led me to conclude that understanding homeosta-sis is thus the gateway to understanding all human behavior and theconnection between natural sciences and social sciences. The connecting link between the purely physical organic movementsand cognitive feelings that ultimately lead to conscious awareness ofone‘s own thoughts is mental processing. The brain readouts that men-tal processing results in feed into the enhanced homeostatic system offeelings. In the fundamental unity of phenomena ‗feelings‘ are alwaysabout the body in relation to the environment, therefore, ‗feelings‘ areboth caused by bodily processes and lead to bodily processes as expres-sions. In my interpretation, I would thus render the idea of somaticmarkers (Damasio) by telling that cognitive reactions are anchored inthe system of correlating environmental conditions (stimuli) with theireffect on the body (and its parts) and consequently the whole homeosta-sis, which develops feelings of higher and higher cognitive value, orcomplexity, up to conscious recollection of some reflections of them. Both in an evolutionary sense and in respect to the life of any givenorganism, all organic and neural processes may be conceived of asprocesses of movement that are combined in more and more complexprocesses within the framework of the homeostatic system cumulatingin the human higher-order process of cognitive consciousness. I con-ceive of these processes on a continuum which starts with physicalmovements, which combine into organic processes and neural processes(some of them characterized as mental processes), which further com-bine through the homeostasis to feelings, which give rise to cognitivefeelings, which may develop to mental images and phenomena that cor-respond to conceptualization of abstractions, which latter two embed-ded in the underlying cognitive feelings may develop into thoughts(ideas) when the human in a state of cognitive consciousness applies hisexperience of language and other social practices to the cognitive feel-
  19. 19. 14 The Case Against Noam Chomskyings. In accordance with this conception, I hold that all phenomena ofcognition are results of such neural processes that can be characterizedas mental processes yielding cognitive reflections. The evolutionary value of cognitive consciousness lies in that the or-ganism observes itself similarly as one observes others and in this waythe environment is made to include the organism itself, and so more ful-ly integrating the whole environment in the homeostatic system whichbears on the well-being of the organism. Reflecting on these ideas it seems to me that in neuroscience the re-search paradigm should be amended so as to define the activity as astudy of cognition instead of a study of ‗consciousness‘ – whereas ‗con-sciousness‘ (on the different levels of awareness) represents aspects ofcognition. Cognition, cognitive appraisals, happens continuously whe-reas cognitive consciousness (the being aware of being aware) comesand goes. An important, and perhaps decisive, feature of cognition isconceptualization. Thus the biological method of studying cognitionand conceptualization should replace the conceptual method of studying‗consciousness.‘ – I refer to the evolution of these cognitive abilities bythe concept ‗mental evolution.‘ By this concept I mean the evolutionarydevelopment of the ability to process stimuli in ever increasing complexways and the potential possibility to react, to express the necessaryreactions in response to the processes.Mental ProcessesThus we should conceive of a continuum of organic movements, or or-ganic processes, where the movements (processes, or reaction patternsof interpretation and expression) at one end of the continuum (up-stream) could be called physical processes, and at the other end (down-stream) we would have the complex and sophisticated movement pat-terns which I call mental processes. In between these ends there aremovements, or processes, which we may chose to describe as more orless physical versus more or less mental, or we could say that they dis-play both physical and mental process features. But nowhere on thecontinuum would we be able to draw a definite line of demarcation be-tween various types of organic movements in an attempt to define whatare to be regarded as mental processes versus simple physical move-ments. I refer to this continuum of mental processes as the Lamarckian
  20. 20. Introduction 15continuum. Thus ‗mental processes‘ are those ever more and morecomplex and sophisticated, reentrant and high-speed neural processes.Materiality of Processes, Immateriality of Process ReflectionsIn many sections of this book, I address the ideas of materiality vs. im-materiality; this I have also done in regards to mental processes. I stressthat mental processes are material, but the outcomes of the processes,our cognitive ideas, are not material and rather represent reflections ofthe material processes. Somewhat simplifying I suggest comparingphysical and mental with a picture and a film. To grasp this we shouldremember that a film merely represents a series of pictures projected inrapid succession showing the objects in successive positions slightlychanged so as to produce the optical effect of a continuous film inwhich the objects move. When the film is run quickly through a projec-tor the reflections of it appear to us as something living as opposed tothe individual pictures which are still. The film has only one dimensionat a time, the fast projection of the series of pictures, but the mentalprocesses are multidimensional and combine at any given time the ef-fects of a variety of simultaneous processes which are in constant rela-tions of feed forward and feedback, reentry, remote signaling, etc. Inview of these considerations, I am not introducing the film metaphor asa scientific analog to what ‗mental‘ should be taken to be, but rather asan aid to put us on right track on how to conceive of these issues. –I es-tablish cognitive reflections (including thoughts) as immaterial; I alsostress the immateriality from another point of view namely, from thepoint of view of the behavior that cognitive reflections give rise to. Allhuman behavior cumulate in social practices; these social practices, orthe very behavior as it is observed, serve as stimuli for our cognition.These stimuli are also immaterial, this whereas the behavior as such ismaterial, but the behavior reflects expressions of cognitive feelings (in-cluding ideas) only by way of symbolizing them; therefore we do notobserve (and cannot observe) the very ideas but only the symbolicmeans by which they are expressed. Already from this point of view theverbal behavior we as observers detect is immaterial inasmuch as itstands for the immaterial cognitive reflections. Yet another considera-tion adds to the reasons why we should consider the social stimuli asimmaterial, this is the fact that we do not take in the behavior as such,whereas we merely form perceptual abstractions of some (often superfi-cial) aspects of the behavior. – Hereby I stress that we should not con-
  21. 21. 16 The Case Against Noam Chomskyfuse the immateriality of cognitive expressions of ideas with the materi-al traces they may leave behind, such as the arrangements of alphabeticsymbols depicted in ink on paper, or buildings and machines and otherartifacts, as well as pieces of art.Words, Immaterial Perceptual AbstractionsThe above considerations remind us that language, words and all theother hypothetical elements of language (morphemes, grammar, syntax,etc) are also nothing but perceptual abstractions – they do not exist;they are no things; they are no material entities. In this book, I point out– for some peculiar reason it seems that nobody has done that before me– that only things can exist, and what are things, they are substancesthat we must be able to identify in terms of mass and energy. We aretaught already in basic physics that matter is to be defined as any kindof mass-energy that moves with velocities less than the velocity of light(whereas radiant energy moves at the velocity of light; Pauling, GeneralChemistry, 2003: 1-3). This is also expressed by Einstein‘s famous equ-ation E = mc2 (E standing for energy, m for mass and c the velocity oflight). – It is about time that we recognize the principle of relativity alsoin social sciences. Language, words, and all the hypothetical linguisticparticles do not manifest mass and energy and therefore they do not ex-ist. And as they do not exist, then they cannot possibly display any kindof characteristic features either, nor may they be analyzed in any fa-shion without reference to contexts where they have been expressed.And therefore we have to stop doing social sciences on the analogy ofnatural sciences. Written texts and the abstract perceptions we form ofspeech expressions merely represent traces of interpretation of feelingsthat occur as momentary reflections in the mental processes of humanbeings. In reference to the physical definitions of matter, I want to raise ahypothesis on how the immateriality of cognitive reflections could beexplained. I remind that thoughts represent reflections of mentalprocesses – or more correctly thoughts represent merely fleeting reflec-tions of a potentially infinite variance of mental processes. Bearing thisin mind, I would like to think that a physicist could in principle explainthese cognitive reflections in terms of mass and energy. Most probablythe physical explanation would point to such a gradual loss of energy onthe border of the mental process - in relation to the particular infinitely
  22. 22. Introduction 17small sub-process presently reflected in consciousness - that the result-ing cognitive reflection could be considered immaterial.Materialism Reinterpreted – New DualismWith these ideas, I complete the materialist paradigm (materialism). Ihave now shown how all ideas are produced by a material, organic, bio-logical body, but I have also demonstrated how the ideas are throughquite material processes given immaterial reflections. – In this connec-tion, I want to refer to the ideas of new dualism. Briefly, I hereby referto the fact that while we shall conceive of all processes of cognition asmaterial, we shall anyway bear in mind that they are the results ofprocessing of immaterial stimuli stemming from social practices. Thusthere is a dualism between the body and the environmental stimuliwhich it processes. If we understand that social expressions do not existeven when we may experience them through the media of human beha-vior and the ability to remember and imitate (sometimes aided by ma-terial traces that behavior leads behind), then we may grasp how imma-terial social practices affect cognition in form of immaterial stimuli.This is what led me to postulate the paradigm of new dualism – thedualism between the body and the external stimuli being processed byit. According to this idea the essence of neural (mental) processes is toprocess external stimuli that have been detected (received) by the sen-sory organs (sensory receptors). These processes correspond to organicinterpretations. Processes of organic interpretation further lead to bodilyexpressions which are reactions to these interpretations (among suchexpression, gestures and speech). At some point the joint outcome ofthe various processes simultaneously occurring are brought up to a cog-nitive level, where higher-order mental processes occur both uncons-ciously and consciously as reflections of the lower level processes.These higher order processes are what correspond to what we may callcognitive behavior or the kind of activity we refer to as pertaining to theintellect or intelligence. – The factors external to the body in mentalprocesses are thus the stimuli that are being processed by the neural sys-tem, and they are no metaphysical ‗soul‘ or ‗mind.‘ This is why I pro-pose to think of the processes of the brain/body interpreting stimuli interms of the dualism between body and stimuli. To make this idea ma-nifest and to highlight these issues against the misconceived classicaldualism, I refer to it as the new dualism and alternately as natural dual-ism. We therefore may now recognize how at the end of the analysis the
  23. 23. 18 The Case Against Noam Chomskyconnection between the natural biological world and that of the social isnot a mysterious one but that of the relation with body and stimuli. In fact, even organic life as such (keeping with the paradigm of ex-pressions and interpretations) is a function of a dualism between bodyand stimuli. It was Lamarck who first identified this as the fundamentalcondition of life. This helped me to recognize that social life is a func-tion of the capacity of the human animal to cognitively interpret andexpress his feelings, and – most importantly – to imitate the expressionsof others. Language and all other social practices are functions of thisimitation. Language is the living memory of all the expressions whichpeople have made. Language, all social practices, all what humans haveever cognitively performed do not exist, only memories of them existinsofar as one human being remembers these practices.The Fallacious Conceptual MethodI argue that in order to fundamentally understand the issues at stake inthis book we need to recognize the fallacies of the present conceptualmethod of making science and the accompanying misconceived modelof the so-called ―scientific method.‖ By the conceptual method, I meanthe reigning tendency of scientists to approach their subject matters andresearch findings with their inherited rigid conceptual frameworks.Scientists take the concepts for real and what ensues is an attempt tomatch the, in fact, real physical and biological processes to the receivedconcepts; this instead of doing what they should: match the concepts tothe biological processes. By a study of nature and life we can neverhope to find any biological correlates to concepts, by concepts we mere-ly attempt to express our interpretations of the biological processes.Thus, for example, we cannot try to identify what kind of processes cor-relate with the concepts ‗memory,‘ ‗imitation,‘ ‗learning,‘ ‗imagina-tion,‘ ‗will,‘ ‗appraisal,‘ ‗belief,‘ etc. By these various psychologicalconcepts we may merely describe perceived aspects of our cognitivebehavior which are based on unified and interdependent biologicalprocesses, which I propose to denominate as ‗feelings.‘ Fundamentally, the underlying neural processes and phenomena towhich we refer by these concepts are the same; we merely form variousperceptions of the observed processes and behavior; and all kinds ofconsiderations affect how these perceptions come about (most impor-tantly the way we have learned through participating in social practices
  24. 24. Introduction 19to perceive various phenomena). These kinds of concepts thereforemainly serve as aids for a psychological analysis of human behavior.Naturally they are also needed in neuroscience, but hereby the scientistsshould take care to ensure that he merely employs them as descriptiveaids whereby he tries to illustrate his interpretations; but he shall notmake a neuroscientific analysis of the concepts, the way, for example,Eric Kandel has treated the concept ‗memory.‘ To remedy the dilemmacaused by the conceptual method and in order to put neuroscience onright track we should recognize the process-like character of cognitionand all that can be subsumed under cognitive behavior (feelings, per-ceptions, thoughts, volition, intentions, etc). I therefore, in accordancewith my conception of the organic process model, propose to view allphenomena of life – both natural and social life – as organic processesand reflections of such processes. In chapters Memory and Kandel‟sSearch for the Neural Correlates of the Concept „Memory,‟ I will illu-strate this fallacy in regards to the concept ‗memory.‘ Here I will limitmyself to a few remarks in this respect.MemoryThe ideas that pertain to the concept ‗memory‘ serve to illustrate howscientists remain in ignorance of the fundamental unity and interdepen-dency of organic phenomena as well as to illustrate the misconceivedconceptual method. This as the scientists in memory theory proceedfrom the assumption that there must be some biological processes thatare particular to this concept. Instead of understanding that ‗memory‘ isthe perception we form of certain human cognitive activities, they post-ulate that one could already in primordial forms of life detect thoseneural processes that are ‗memory.‘ I consider that ‗memory‘ properlyspeaking is about a human being having the (seeming) feeling of cogni-tive consciousness about past experiences in a way that can be renderedby abstract expressions (for example in speech by language; or by otherforms of human expression). I also consider that other primates andother animals which have the ability to be cognitively conscious ofmental images can be said to posses ‗memory‘ (i.e. the ability to re-member), but their ‗memory‘ is limited to the mental images, whereashuman ‗memory‘ combines both mental images and verbal conceptualmanipulation of the images. In order for this to happen one has to beable to conceptualize experience, which will enable the organism to re-late new experience to past experience and so to say reawaken those
  25. 25. 20 The Case Against Noam Chomskyneural reaction patterns that correlate the new experience with the pastexperiences. ‗Memories‘ are the cognitive results of processing presentenvironmental stimuli in the background of all our life experiences, asencoded in our neural processing patterns. ‗Memories‘ are the impres-sions that mental processes lead to when the processes ―recognize‖ apast experience in the continuous process of interpreting the present.‗Memories‘ are not a collection of snapshots, mental clips or tokens thatone has collected and which would exist stored in the recesses of thebrain, rather language and other social practices as stimuli in mentalprocesses give rise to what we perceive as ‗memories‘ as a result of in-terpreting the present.Misconceptions about „Mind‟ and „Consciousness‟The concepts ‗mind‘ and ‗consciousness‘ represent the special fallacyof taking the results of the mental processes to stand for some entitiesthat themselves produce the cognitive reflections, as I will show below.But I argue that we instead should see ‗mind‘ as a merger of the socialdimension of life with that of the biological apparatus, as a result of thebiological apparatus processing social stimuli; ‗consciousness,‘ in turn,should simply be taken to signify the awareness of sensations and feel-ings, of which self-reflexive awareness of cognitive feelings representsthe most developed and sophisticated stage. I maintain that it is not correct to refer to ‗mind‘ as if it would be aphysical entity, and instead I point out that the mental operations of in-terpreting the environment by the physical entity ‗brain‘ is what causesthe various cognitive reflections to which we refer to as ‗mind.‘ Insteadof treating the concept ‗mind‘ as a physical entity we should then con-ceive of ‗mind‘ as a reference to the phenomena which result from theinteraction of environmental stimuli (most importantly stimuli derivedfrom social practices, past and present expressions) with the biologicalneural apparatus. ‗Mind‘ represents the results of neural (mental)processing of environmental stimuli which we detect in form of socialpractices, that is, reflections of human behavior (the stimuli from socialpractices being embedded in the stimuli stemming from other parts ofthe nature and the physical environment). Further ‗mind‘ represents thereflections, process outcome, that the mental processing of stimuli re-sults in. I will further on in this book account for the various ways weperceive the abstractions that we form of these underlying phenomena
  26. 26. Introduction 21and stress that whatever abstractions we may perceive in this regards,we should note that at the end of the analysis ‗mind‘ is a social and lin-guistic construction, in a way a social fiction, and by no means an ob-ject for neuroscience. Often philosophers (or philosophizing scientists) use the concept‗mental‘ synonymously with ‗mind,‘ but, as I showed above, we shouldrather by ‗mental‘ refer to the neural processes that lead to cognition.Thus ‗mental‘ is not the same as the ‗mind‘ or anything else in that me-taphysical vein, it is simply a word denoting enormously complex phys-ical, neural processes, which occur in infinitely complex, high-speed,reentrant circuits with feedforward and feedback loops. Similarly as phenomena connected with cognitive reflections havebeen reified, and even personified, in the concept ‗mind,‘ the same andadjacent phenomena have been reified and personified in the concept‗consciousness.‘ Through a series of peculiar linguistic processes thathave bewitched thinking of philosophers the concept ‗consciousness‘has become to denote a mystical entity that brings about human cogni-tion; basically ‗consciousness‘ has in the 20th century literature servedas a more academically hygienic successor concept for the more ancient‗soul‘ and ‗mind.‘ I have in this book attempted a demystification of theconcept ‗consciousness,‘ and to return it to its original meaning ofawareness (which is the meaning in which, e.g., Descartes employedthe concept). In the best sense of the present contemporary use the con-cept corresponds to what I want to call ‗cognitive consciousness,‘ thatis, being self-reflexively aware of cognitive feelings, or yet in otherwords: being aware of the reflections of mental processing of concep-tual abstractions together with the awareness of being aware. But weshould note that we may be aware of, that is, conscious of, a variety ofsensations. We should think of all the various sensations and organicphenomena of which we may become conscious of on a continuumstarting from physical sensations (bodily reactions), such as touch, pain,cold, warmth, light, thirst, hunger; and gradually as we proceed on thecontinuum we reach that kind of consciousness that corresponds to anawareness of cognitive feelings, concepts, thoughts etc., that is, allthose processes that involve the processing of conceptual abstractions(or as some say, ‗intellectual activities‘). ‗Consciousness‘ thusrepresents aspects of all these named organic and neural phenomena;‗consciousness‘ corresponds to the salient features of being aware of theunderlying processes. There is no point on the continuum where thecorresponding processes and phenomena would be to that degree differ-
  27. 27. 22 The Case Against Noam Chomskyent in nature that they would merit the separate denomination of ‗con-sciousness‘ as opposed to the other phenomena which we may identifyon the continuum. Correspondingly ‗feeling‘ and ‗consciousness‘ arealways intertwined, consciousness always being an aspect of ‗feeling.‘‗Consciousness‘ is the awareness of ‗feelings‘, while ‗feelings‘ areproducts of ‗mental processes.‘ It is when ‗feelings‘ concern the higherorder mental processes, processing that leads to the evoking and form-ing of concepts and the emergence of cognition, that we reach a differ-ent stage of complex awareness that allows us to consider, to a certaindegree, our own feelings and even manipulate them. But only this laststage is what our contemporary scientists admit to be covered by theirsacred concept of ‗consciousness.‘ I would rather refer to these kinds ofprocesses of self-reflexive cognitive awareness by the term ‗cognitiveconsciousness‘; this concept represents the fleeting peak aspects ofcognitive feelings that possibly may rise through the processes of cogni-tive recollection and ultimately be expressed (at least tentatively) inspeech, and by other deliberate symbolic devices such as gestures, otherbodily expressions, writing, objects of art, and symbolic expressions inartifacts. ‗Cognitive consciousness‘ is a condition of ‗thinking‘ but not‗thinking‘ itself, as will be explained below. The important feature of‗cognitive consciousness‟ is that it is what enables us to interpret theprocesses of cognitive feelings, which in turn may lead to cognitive per-ceptions in the present, thinking, remembering etc. At any given timewhen we are cognitively conscious of one or another mental process offeeling, there occur in the body (unconsciously) other mental processeswhich create cognitive feelings. Any of the processes of feeling mayeventually emerge into consciousness. By accounting for consciousness in this way we recognize that thereis no specific mystery of ‗consciousness‘ in comparison with any othermental processes. We therefore realize that the research task now be-comes strictly biological: that of trying to identify the complex reentrantmental processing circuits and the biochemistry involved in them, whilekeeping in mind that these processes are about processing environmen-tal stimuli. Mired in their admiration of the concept ‗consciousness‘ it did noteven occur to the 20th century neurophilosophers that there must beanother side to the coin, that is, if there is ‗consciousness‘ then theremust also be ‗unconsciousness.‘ Tellingly the latter term does not evenform part of their vocabulary. This illustrates once more the perverted
  28. 28. Introduction 23role assigned to ‗consciousness,‘ not as a juxtaposition to ‗unconscious-ness‘ but as a synonym to the hypothetical ‗mind.‘ This does notamount to any small oversight, rather it played a hugely detrimental rolein perverting the scientific understanding of mental processes and therole of ‗consciousness‘ in them. When ‗consciousness‘ was not juxta-posed with ‗unconsciousness‘ – as it should have been – it became anindependent stand-alone mystical entity. Thus the 20th century neuro-philosophers did not conceive of conscious processes as emerging fromthe unconscious ones (naturally not even fully understanding that thequestion was precisely of mental processes). They fatally failed to rec-ognize that ‗consciousness‘ merely represented the highest stage ofmental processes, the phenomena on the tip of the Lamarckian conti-nuum, or the evolutionary hermeneutical spiral, forming part of a si-multaneously occurring myriad of mental processes which run mostlyunconsciously. When I return to the more detailed discussion of theseissues further into the book, then I will point out that we should, how-ever, not conceive of the processes as rigidly delimited to conscious andunconscious processes, rather we should conceive of them as beingblurred in each other on a web of consciousness, which from moment tomoment brings ever competing sensations and feelings up to the levelof consciousness; but this only for fleeting moments and all the timedistracted by the other processes that are constantly assailing the thre-shold of consciousness. The considerations which I have rendered above in regards to the na-ture of ‗consciousness‘ and ‗unconsciousness‘ should alert us to the factthat we cannot validly postulate that mental processes are either con-scious or unconscious. ‗Consciousness‘ is not a question of a switch be-tween the positions ‗on‘ and ‗off,‘ rather we experience subtle degreesof consciousness of various processes at the same time. Thus most men-tal processes go on unconsciously only to pop up as momentary sparksin consciousness. We should simply recognize that there are physico-mental process that we are consciously aware of (to some degrees), andthen all the other neural (including mental) processes that we are notconsciously aware of.ConceptualizationIn my view the ideas that pertain to conceptualization brings us to acrucial junction in understanding cognition and all cognitive activitiesand behavior. According to the organic process model, that I present in
  29. 29. 24 The Case Against Noam Chomskythis book, all organic activity can be seen as functions of interpretationand expression on an evolutionary continuum ranging from simplephysical movements to cognitive processes. Following the organicprocess model, I have stressed in several parts of this book that all func-tions of organic life is always about processes where an organism positsitself in relation to its environment. This corresponds to the organisminterpreting the environment in relation to itself. The genetic endow-ment for mental processes in humans has evolved so that the human hasgained the ability to encode cognitive experience of abstract phenomenain form of mental processing of abstractions (conceptualize experience).In any given situation the human forms new abstractions, which are re-lated to formerly conceptualized experience in processes which formnew conceptualized experience. The new conceptualized experience isthen assigned its place in the general system of life experience (a―place‖ in form of the neural patterns forming our human life expe-rience). For this to happen a state of cognitive consciousness seems tobe a necessary condition. I presume that concepts are stamped in con-sciousness, meaning that it is precisely in the moments when the animalis consciously aware of its feelings that concepts are formed. In the re-levant brain systems various cognitive perceptions are simultaneouslyprocessed and lead to conceptualization of new experience in the back-ground of old by, as it were, creating ‗concepts‘ by comparing new ex-perience to past experience, and then assigning the new experience aproper relation in regards to past experience. I would consider that it isthis very ‗assigning of the relative place‘ what corresponds to conceptu-alization. I assume that each abstract conception corresponds to a neuralreaction pattern where the synaptic strengths in the involved neural cir-cuits correspond to the ―encoding‖ of the concept in relation to otherconcepts in systems that can be thought of as brain maps. But this doesnot imply that a static map would have been created, rather the mapsmust be in constant flux continuously monitoring the flux of life of theorganism in its environment, that is, each new moment of life throughthe new experience affects all the previous neural patterns. – These con-siderations are also important in regards to linguistics. The conceptsthat correspond to words must also develop in the above described fa-shion. Words are always related to a given life experience embedded inprevious life experience. Words are processed neurally like all otherstimuli, so that the linguistic abstraction that has been experienced (inspeech and text) are neurally interpreted like all other cognitive stimuli;
  30. 30. Introduction 25they are in working memory assigned a place in relation to the overalllife experience by way of relating the present verbal stimuli to thepresent spatial position of the organism in accordance with how pastexperience has been neurally encoded in reaction patterns. This is whyeach word is always understood uniquely by each person in general, andby each person in particular in every new moment of life. Thus neuralprocessing of the stimuli that originate in words is always a private,unique and everchanging phenomenon. This naturally means that aword does not, and cannot, carry an objective meaning, as the meaningis created (interpreted) in the body by each unique act of mentalprocessing.ThinkingHaving dealt with the above phenomena, I would like to add a few con-siderations in respect to thinking. We should recognize that thinking on-ly represents the conscious part of all the cognitive feelings that affectus at any given time. ‗Thinking‘ is always a predominantly consciousprocess (although some aspects of thinking remain unconscious).‗Thinking‘ is the result of combining the concepts of language (socialpractices) to the underlying feelings. When we think we are consciousonly of the feelings that have caught our attention, of the feelings weare aware of. And even so, only on a superficial level, for we can be va-guely conscious of a feeling even before we have been able to fullyconsciously conceptualize it. Thus for me thinking signifies such cogni-tive mental processes where concepts are applied, consciously and part-ly unconsciously, to cognitive feelings. To understand this we have torecognize how fleeting the borderline between the conscious and un-conscious processes is: the unconscious and conscious processes areconstantly blurred within each other. All kinds of consciousness, cogni-tive as well as non-cognitive, are continuously mixed with otherprocesses of feeling - consciousness shifts by non-perceptible nuancesfrom process to process leading to barely perceptible sparks in the webof consciousness. The first stage of thinking involves the emergence ofmental images; these mental images may in themselves already involveconceptual abstractions, but on a higher stage of thinking neuralprocesses that correspond to verbal concepts merge with the images andthe other conceptual abstractions. Following this logic, I would thensuggest that thinking, as all organic activity, also consists of variousprocess stages. ‗Thoughts‘ may be seen as immaterial reflections of bio-
  31. 31. 26 The Case Against Noam Chomskylogical processing of stimuli from social practices (including language),which through the phenomena of remembering are continuously ree-nacted in the body and thus brought up to mental processing in think-ing. According to this idea the organism reinterprets past experienceanew and anew in infinite variances. Eventually ‗thoughts‘ may lead to expressions in speech. This isdone by applying the learned concepts from the social practices of lan-guage to thoughts.Emotions and FeelingsI will round up the review of the phenomena pertaining to the majorconcepts of neurophilosophy with a few remarks in regards to what areconsidered as ‗emotions‘ and the relation between ‗emotions‘ and ‗feel-ings.‘ In my conception ‗feelings‘ correspond to the primary phenome-na, whereas ‗emotions‘ should be considered merely as socially influ-enced perceptions we form of complex behavior, which behavior in turnrepresents manifestations of the underlying feelings which are in a con-stant flux; what we call an ‗emotion‘ does not represent a higher orlower form of organic processing on the Lamarckian continuum; an‗emotion‘ does not correspond to anything independent from the bio-logical processes of sensation, homeostasis and feeling. An ‗emotion‘ isthe perception that we form on some conspicuous reaction patternspresent in observed behavior while simultaneously ignoring the com-plexity of the underlying feelings. An ‗emotion‘ is thus best to be con-ceived of as mental processes that give rise to conspicuous bodily reac-tions (expressions) connected with a socially determined linguisticname to stand for the simplified perceptions we form of the complexityof manifested behavior based on the underlying complex and fluctuat-ing feelings.From the Conceptual Method to a Study of BiologicalProcesses The analysis of these conceptual fallacies show why we need a funda-mental paradigm shift: we have to understand that instead of analyzingthe concepts by which we try to illustrate our ideas we have to givepriority to the study of the underlying biological processes, and try tomatch the concepts to the processes we observe and not the other way
  32. 32. Introduction 27around as it is presently done. And doing so we shall never lose sight ofsome fundamental scientific principles, which are: (i) the principles ofevolution, by which we should understand that all living organisms aregenetic successors of lower forms of life; (ii) the evolutionary principlealso entails that a complex organism incorporates both processes thatrun the same way and yield the same expressions as they did in the pri-mordial forms of life, and processes that are based on the former butdue to the increased complexity yield other expressions; (iii) the prin-ciple of a unitary (holistic) character of all organic processes, which fol-lows from the previous principle; according to this principle all organicand neural processes are unified so that they all bear on the homeostasisof the organism, and through the homeostasis affect ―each other‖; (iv)the previous considerations also mean that all the processes are interde-pendent as I have depicted it with idea of the hermeneutical evolutio-nary spiral. These evolutionary principles should never be let out of sight whenconsidering any organic or social phenomenon, because each one in thevery finest of its aspects has its ultimate roots in the unity and interde-pendency of the body and the nervous processing system operating thebody in relation to the environment. From this also follows the recogni-tion that all organs and organic abilities (faculties) are somehow in a re-lation of unity and interdependency to each other. All organic features,the anatomy, and organic capabilities conspire to bring out new beha-vioral abilities produced by the biological machinery, the parts of whichhave originally been developed for other organic functions, for whatwould seem as simpler functions. In regards to human behavior weshould then realize that all the various types of behavior we recognize,or the abilities (―faculties‖) we perceive, only represent surface levelperceptions of an infinite array of similar organic processes that lead todifferent outcomes – or rather perceived outcomes – in any given situa-tion.Evolution of SpeechWe need to recognize that speech (the ability to speak) has evolved, butlanguage the social practice, cannot be said to have evolved. A socialpractice such as language does not evolve in the proper sense of theword; or, if we want to use the word ‗evolution‘ also in regards to ‗lan-guage‘ and other social practices, then we have to realize that we are us-ing the same verbal symbol in two different senses. By evolution of bio-
  33. 33. 28 The Case Against Noam Chomskylogical organisms (biological evolution) we refer to changes in the ge-netic endowment of living organisms corresponding to gene expres-sions, which in all offspring results in an anatomy, organs and organicprocess patterns, which in all essential aspects are predetermined by thegenetic endowment. Whereas biological evolution signifies a change inthe external and internal form of an organism, social evolution signifiesmerely perceived changes in human behavior. This evolution of the ability to speak has been a gradual process ofconverging interdependent and intertwined organic processes to which Irefer with the principle of unity and interdependency of organicprocesses and which I have depicted by the hermeneutical evolutionaryspiral. There has been no one point in the history of life or mankind orapehood, where we could proclaim that the ability to speak hademerged and the social practice of language could be said to have beenformed. Gradually and imperceptibly over millions of years some apel-ike animals have evolved and become bipedal by which change theanatomy of their vocal tracts have changed so that they could master theskill of consciously articulating refined sounds. This evolution of theanatomy has proceed in pace with a change in habits so that in a herme-neutical spiral change in anatomy, biology, and the neural system havecorresponded with changes in social habits. In these processes the abili-ty to conceptualize experience has evolved with the ability to make andinterpret symbolic bodily expressions that correspond to the conceptua-lized experience. Speech and the ability to speak represent the culmina-tion of these gradual genetic evolutionary processes.The Contrast with ChomskyI have noted that my ideas on speech and language are in marked con-trast to all the ideas that Noam Chomsky has through his carrier pro-fessed and raised to the pinnacle of linguistics with wide recognition inother fields of science. I realized that as Chomsky‘s ideas are so widelyknown, and still to a large extent accepted, then I could best illustratemy paradigm by pointing out the differences between it and Chomsky‘stheories. This is why Chomsky has received such a prominent role inthis book, even to the extent that I call the first volume of A BiologicalPhilosophy The Case Against Noam Chomsky. We shall remember thatChomsky himself rose to prominence with an article called The CaseAgainst B.F. Skinner where he sketched the outlines of his fallacious
  34. 34. Introduction 29theories. I thought, it would be only natural that the theories should exitwith the same measure. – In the critique of Chomsky, I am guided bythe correct method of philosophy as determined by Wittgenstein, that is,"to say nothing except what can be said, i.e. propositions of naturalscience ... and then whenever someone else wanted to say somethingmetaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had failed to give a mean-ing to certain signs in his propositions" (Tractatus 6.53). – This is whyall philosophy is a critique of language (Tractatus 4.0031).Lost and Found PhilosophersThe greatest surprise that I experienced when doing the research for thisbook was that most of the ideas that I had an intuitive correct perceptionabout (and which I subsequently became convinced of) had alreadybeen expressed by many a 19th century philosopher. I had been per-plexed over the number of absurdities I encountered in our contempo-rary philosophy and neuroscience, and when I so clearly sensed thatthey were wrong, the bigger was my amazement that to a sufficient de-gree many of the correct ideas had already been expressed by philoso-phers a few hundred years ago. In this book I refer to many of them:Condillac, Bonnet, Lamarck, Romanes, Spencer, the more recent Bar-tlett, and last but not least, Lewes. Against the paradigm I present it be-comes also necessary to take a fresh look at Descartes‘ ideas from the17th century, to which ideas I hope to give a new lifeline. – It is a trage-dy, and I would say a mystery, how the wealth of insight these menpossessed and exhibited so totally escaped the 20th century scientificmind. The mystery is explained by all we know about the perversionsbrought about by the ―scientific method,‖ ―behaviorism,‖ ―reduction-ism,‖ and the ―cognitive revolution.‖ – But the tragedy remains. Andalong with the sense of tragedy, I feel personally sad for those people,many of whom devoted their life in search of the truth, even succeedingin revealing some bright and lasting insight, but only to be ignored, mi-sunderstood, or even ridiculed. The most striking example of this, I ex-perienced when I received by mail order the copy of Lewes‘s Problemsof Life and Mind. The book was of original print of 1879 and had for-merly been in the possession of Bedford College. It was clear that no-body had ever read this copy of the book for as I received it, more thana century after its printing, it still remained uncut. Naturally some scho-lars specializing in the history of ideas know about Lewes, but in noneof the contemporary books that I researched for the present study was
  35. 35. 30 The Case Against Noam Chomskythere any reference to him. And this is a pity, for his Problems of Lifeand Mind must be considered as one of the best books on philosophyever written. Especially I recommend to everybody the short introducto-ry volume Problems of Life and Mind. Third Series. Problem the First.The study of Psychology. Its object, scope, and method (1879a). It is on-ly by great efforts that I have kept myself from extending the volume ofthis book by any further quotes from Lewes‘s book, which remains sovalid for demonstrating the problems of life and mind that we are stillfaced with in this 21st century.―The experiences of many become the guide of each; they do not all pe-rish with the individual; much survives, takes form in opinion, precept,and law, in prejudice and superstition. The feelings of each are blendedinto a general consciousness, which in turn reacts upon the individualconsciousness. And this mighty impersonality is at once the product andthe factor of social evolution. It rests on the evolution of Language, as ameans of symbolical expression rising out of the animal function of in-dividual expression by the stimulus of collective needs‖ (Lewes 1879a:80).―The organism adjusts itself to the external medium; it creates, and is inturn modified by, the social medium, for Society is the product of humanfeelings, and its existence is pari passu developed with the feelingswhich in turn it modifies and enlarges at each stage. Obviously, then,our science must seek its data not only in Biology but in Sociology; notonly in the animal functions of the organism, but in the faculties devel-oped under social developments‖ (Lewes 1879a: 71).A Biological Philosophy Volumes I – IVThe present book consists of four volumes of A Biological Philosophyof which volumes I and II are now printed together in one cover. Thefirst volume is named A Biological Philosophy, Volume I: The CaseAgainst Noam Chomsky; the second volume is called: A Biological Phi-losophy, Volume II: Mental Processing. It is my aim to write a third vo-lume which would deal more in detail with the general evolutionarytheory and juxtapose Lamarck‘s process theory with Darwin‘s thinglyideas that to a large extent are rooted in the anthropomorphic fallacy. Iconsider that my earlier book, Expressions and Interpretations. Our
  36. 36. Introduction 31Perceptions in Competition (Hellevig 2006) form the fourth volume ofthis series. These four volumes form a cycle of interrelated ideas, eachvolume addressing the biological philosophy from a particular point ofview. The first volume is about language (language practices), which isthe bridge between the biological and social. The second volume showshow the biological body in mental processes interprets environmentalstimuli which processes create feelings, an interpretation of which is ul-timately expressed in human speech. The third volume will serve to de-scribe the evolutionary processes which have enabled the present formof human life. And the fourth volume discusses the essence of the socialpractices which essentially are manifestations of biological expressionsand interpretations, and which serve as stimuli for the biologicalprocesses.
  37. 37. 33 A Biological Philosophy Volume I:The Case Against Noam Chomsky
  38. 38. 34
  39. 39. Speech and Language 351 SPEECH AND LANGUAGEThe limits of my language are the limits of my world (Wittgenstein,Tractatus 5.6.1.)Main Principles of a Theory of Speech and LanguageTo begin this exposition of my conception of speech and language, Ineed to remind of the essential principles of a biological philosophy,which were briefly introduced in the Introduction. These principles beardirectly and simultaneously an all the aspects of the theory of speechand language to be discussed here and in different chapters of this book. For the linguist the most central principle is that of the need to dis-tinguish between speech and language. Speech corresponds to the bio-logical ability to speak, that is, the ability in imitation of the verbal be-havior of other people to express oneself by means of articulating re-peatable sound patterns to which the speaker assigns a symbolic mean-ing. From the point of view of the interlocutor speech corresponds tothe ability to interpret the sound patterns expressed by others (hereby Imarkedly say ‗interpret‘ instead of ‗understand‘). By speech I also referto the actual acts of expressing oneself in speech. Speech, then, refers toboth the ability to speak and the actual exercising of this ability.Whether I refer to the ability or the actual exercising of this ability inthis book will be clear from the context. The crucially important distinc-tion which is to be marked at all times is that between speech (abilityand exercising of ability) versus language. Speech occurs as part ofmore complex acts of expression. To these complex acts of expression Irefer by the term verbal behavior. Verbal behavior comprises not onlythe articulation of sound patterns but all the bodily expressions that sur-round the effort (this idea is explained more in detail below). I use theconcept ‗verbal behavior‘ also to cover the practice of writing. (In writ-ing a special problem occurs as the writer is forced to limit the present-able part of his behavior to only those expressions that he can depict bymeans of the symbols of writing. But we have to remember that even sothe act of writing consists of more than the arrangement of the verbalsymbols he can possibly depict). Language in turn corresponds to the social practices of people crea-tively imitating the verbal behavior of each other. I refer to these socialpractices alternately as ‗social practices of verbal behavior,‘ ‗social
  40. 40. 36 The Case Against Noam Chomskypractices of speaking,‘ ‗social practices of language,‘ and ‗languagepractices.‘ By these alternative concepts I do not usually imply any spe-cial semantic divide, although the reference to ‗verbal behavior‘ mayserve to emphasize the connection between speech and all other beha-vior. I sometimes use the concept ‗verbal behavior‘ in the sense of ‗ex-pressive behavior,‘ i.e., so as to include other bodily expressions in theconcept as well. Language, then, is not an entity (or a thing) of any sort, and rather cor-responds to the perceptual abstractions that we form of the relevant so-cial practices. To illustrate the dichotomy between speech and language, I shallpoint out that Wittgenstein has said: ―Language is a part of our organ-ism and no less complicated than it‖ (Tractatus 4.022). But, unfortu-nately, this was not the proper analogy to be made, for it is speech thatis ―part of‖ our organism (i.e. stems from the organism) and language ispart of our social practices. From this exposition of the distinction between speech and languagefollows that language cannot be studied as an object of biology. In thehuman biology there is nothing that could possible correspond to lan-guage. However, biologically we must study the ability to speak as partof the broader ability (and necessity) to express. Speech (the ability tospeak) has evolved, but language cannot be said to have evolved (I havedeveloped this conception in chapter Evolution of Speech). Languagecan be studied only as a social practice. And hereby one should not beconfused by the fact that speech expressions (speech acts) always aremanifestations of language practices. This like any act of imitationwhich is always a memory manifestation of previous acts of behavior.By any new speech act a person draws from language practices andcontributes to language practices, but at no point does the speaker―posses language‖ within himself, he only possess the ability to partici-pate in the practice. And by this participation, given the ability, he ac-quires skills in the language practice (he ‗learns a language‘). The connection between the biological ability to speak and the socialpractices is to be found in a more fundamental biological ability, name-ly the ability to imitate. It is by imitating the verbal behavior of otherpeople that a child learns the language practices of its community, andit is by imitation that individuals at any stage of life learn and renew thelanguage patterns by which they express themselves. Thus all the simi-larities in the way people speak, the expressions they make, and the
  41. 41. Speech and Language 37language practices they take part in, are to be explained by the simplefact that all these are results of imitations and of remembering. This simple realization that all what we call ‗language‘ is a functionof imitation and memory makes redundant all the peculiar theoreticalquestions Chomsky has posed as the supposedly fundamental questionsthat linguists have to deal with. These will all be discussed more in de-tail in chapter A Review of Chomsky‟s Verbal Behavior, but here I willalready bring up one of them, the most prominent of them: ―What con-stitutes knowledge of language?‖ (Cook, Newson 2007: 11 - 131 ; seealso Chomsky 1986: 6). In the background of the paradigm developedin the present book, we can now answer the question once and for all. Inmy conception ―knowledge of language‖ signifies the possession of ne-cessary skills and experience to express oneself in a fashion that corres-ponds with the language practices of a given community so as to beable to sufficiently well illustrate what one means, that is, to adequatelyexpress an interpretation of one‘s feelings coupled with the ability to in-terpret the verbal behavior of one‘s interlocutors, which abilities aremore fundamentally rooted in the abilities we may call ‗remembering‘and ‗imitation.‘ Thus ‗knowledge of language‘ is not anything we couldpossibly try to describe in abstraction of the actual verbal behavior inwhich the language skills are manifested. Correspondingly ‗learning alanguage‘ signifies the acquisitions of the necessary skills through ex-periencing actual verbal behavior. A language – as it is theoretically de-fined in abstraction - can never be mastered; all one may master is one‘sown skills in verbal expression.– I noted that the abilities to participatein language practices are motivated by the fact that the skills to partici-pate in language practices are entirely a function of ‗remembering‘ and‗imitation‘; this means that all what we can say are derived by thesenses, that is, they are derived as neural reactions to environmentalstimuli. Hereby ‗imitation‘ is merely a concept by which we call theseneural reactions when considering them from this particular point ofview; from another point of view the same neural reactions would becalled ‗memory‘ or ‗remembering‘ (this also means that I argue thatremembering is only one aspect of imitation, and vice versa). The sti-muli to which I referred are the speech expressions and other features ofverbal behavior (and other aspects of social practices) which we organi-cally detect. - This is, of course, in marked contrast to Chomsky whoinsists that ―knowledge of language‖ is not derived by the senses but is,as Chomsky says, ―fixed in advance as a disposition of the mind‖ (Bo-tha 1991: 42; in reference to Chomsky in 1965: 51).
  42. 42. 38 The Case Against Noam Chomsky The conception ‗imitation‘ and its significance to speech has beendiscussed most in detail in chapter Evolution of Speech, where referenceis also made to the research of Rizzolatti et al. on the so-called ‗mirrorneuron‘ system. Remembering/memory is most profoundly discussed inchapter Memory. There are no languages, but we may conditionally say that there arelanguage practices, but hereby we may, of course, by way of abbrevia-tion speak of ‗languages‘ if by that we, indeed, mean ‗language practic-es.‘ For some reason people experience immense difficulties in trying tocomprehend the idea of there not being any languages; for most peoplethe existence of a language seems as the most natural thing in the world.In fact, this again, is a case of bewitchment of thinking by our languagepractices: people consider themselves possessing irrefutable evidence ofthe existence of languages by the mere fact that they have been raised tothink of their proper language practices as a thingly entity. The nominalname by which we refer to language practices, e.g. to those covered bythe name ‗English,‘ in itself creates and solidifies the idea that a lan-guage is a thing which we use and share in common. This is a purelylinguistic fallacy which should be easy to remedy simply by introducingconceptual clarity by the way of explaining, as I am doing it, that ‗lan-guage‘ is shorthand for ‗language practices.‘ We do not ‗speak Eng-lish,‘ but we take part of the language practices we call ‗English‘; we donot ‗use English,‘ rather we express ourselves in imitation (to the bestof our abilities) of the English language practices: ‗English speakers‘participate in a common social practice called ‗English.‘ We may wellrefer to the participation in this social practice by the colloquial ―speak-ing English,‖ but scientifically we must realize what is properly unders-tood by it. Consider that, on the one hand, the Queen of England andher peers speak ‗English,‘ and on the other hand, so do the Prime Mi-nister of India and his colleagues, but they all speak differently, don‘tthey? The difference is not caused by them ―using different languages,‖rather it is explained by the fact that they participate in slightly differentlanguage practices. The ability to speak is innate in humans whereasthe language practices (the so-called ‗languages‘) are in no way innate,neither are none of the speech expressions that cumulate to languagepractices innate. Speech expressions, all our verbal utterances are ex-clusively based on the models derived by way of imitating social prac-tices. – And, to note, the very language practices are in constant flux.

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