Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A Note From The Author

This blog has received what is for me a lot of attention over the last month, with my visitor tally for March exceding the total for any previous month, and there are still 9 days left to go. I just wanted to thank everyone for stopping by, linking, and especially commenting, whether you agree with what I've said or not. In fact, I actually prefer the comments and links that express disagreement, because while it's nice to know that there are people who agree with me, I enjoy the discussion that comes with disagreement much more. Anyway, thanks again, and let me know if there's anything related to cognition that you'd like to see me post about.


onclepsycho said...

Thank YOU for a great blog. I think you're doing something important, cog science needs urgently to be discussed in a serious and critical way out of academia and popular books, and you are one of the very few to do it. Keep writing about concepts, this is fascinating. Anderson's work has intrigued me since the Nature paper, and it would be interesting to see what psychoanalysts have to say about it. I discussed it with a few, and they seem to reject it because for Freud repression was necessarily an unconscious mechanism. It makes no sense to them to "repress" something voluntarily, and anyway they don't really like it when scientist propose to "prove" their concepts.
If I may propose a topic for future posts, I'd like to read what you think of research on brain damaged patients. For instance, I believe neuropsychology has been very influencial in our undertanding of concepts (semantic dementia, category specific anomia or agnosia, etc.)

Clark Goble said...

I'd like to see a post where you explain exactly what it is you hate about Plinker so much. (grin) I found his Blank Slate to be primarily polemics and distortions, but oddly still enjoyable. But I'm intrigued about what you might see as in error in his popular books on mind and language.

Chris said...

oncle, thanks for the kind words. My next post on concepts (which I keep putting off, but which I'll get to soon) will be on some neuroscientific research on types of concepts, conducted primarily with patients with parkinson's and huntington's diseases. I may also do some on face recognition which will get into that. I'm less familiar with the more general literature, but if I can think of something to say, I will.

I had thought about doing a post on Pinker specifically, since I to pick on him. However, in lieu of that, I have been thinking about doing a more general post (or series of posts) on language and language evolution. In doing so, I would present a view of language that comes primarily from the work of people like Michael Tomasello and Dedre Gentner, which is, in most ways, in direct opposition to Pinker's own view of language. The same would go for the account of the evolution of language that I would present, though it would come from people other than Gentner and Tomasello (though talking about Tomasello's on view of language evolution would be fun).