[Taxacom] teleology example
jason.lesley.robinson at gmail.com
Thu Mar 7 07:38:37 CST 2013
How much of the teleology "smuggled into" scientific explanation is a
spandrel of the English language?
I've had this discussion with a few linguist friends and they have
indicated to me that they believe the syntactical structure of phrases and
sentences in English are more or less pre-adapted to teleology (e.g. "the
computer won't let me do this" is something we all say and all understand
even though we deny the agency of a computer).
I just don't have enough experience with other languages to be much
convinced of this either way but it is an interesting hypothesis.
On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 5:03 AM, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com> wrote:
> But this was not a case of a figure of speech or of multiple meaning.
> Purpose is purpose.
> John Grehan
> On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM, Curtis Clark <lists at curtisclark.org>
> > On 2013-03-06 7:55 PM, Neal Evenhuis wrote:
> > > Well ... that may be our future. We're not writing for humans anymore
> > just for electronic signals
> > Suddenly everyone is a critic. This is an example of synecdoche: using
> > the whole for the part. It's no different from "The news America needs
> > to hear"--of course the author doesn't mean the continent.
> > All this reminds me of heretic hunting to root out the evil of
> > teleology, discovered because teleologers don't drown when you toss them
> > in the river. Or something. If I were an early-career scientist, I'd
> > never write anything that could be read by Taxacomers unless I had
> > removed all figures of speech and words with multiple meanings.
> > --
> > Curtis Clark http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
> > Biological Sciences +1 909 869 4140
> > Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
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