Monday, October 20, 2014

see previous.

A ‘Galilean’ science of language, Christina Behme.
Chomsky’s early work introduced innovative ideas, earned him recognition beyond linguistics, and inspired generations of linguists. His early proposals in particular have changed the way linguistic research is conducted. Yet anyone unfamiliar with the field who reads one of Chomsky’s early works, e.g. Syntactic Structures (1957) or Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965), back to back with The Science of Language cannot fail to be mystified by the difference. Of course, this dramatic change has not occurred overnight, and marked departures from the path laid out in the early works have been visible in Chomsky’s work for a long time. Despite of this, even linguists who do not work in Chomsky’s framework extend the praise that was justified for early publications to Chomsky’s recent work. A representative example is: ‘[Chomsky’s 1950s] aim was to investigate language at the rigorous level that physics is studied. As we will see over the following chapters, this aim is incontrovertibly discernible in his recent work’ (Kinsella 2009: 18). 
So then we may seem to have armed ourselves with two shiny new concepts with which to crack the crib of Reality, or as it may be, of Confusion -two new keys in our hands, and of course, simultaneously two new skids under our feet. In philosophy, forearmed should be forewarned
Once the theory of meaning is sharply separated from the theory of reference, it is a short step to recognizing as the business of the theory of meaning simply the synonymy of linguistic forms and the analyticity of statements; meanings themselves, as obscure intermediary entities, may well be abandoned.
"Evening Star" and "Morning Star" / "Palestine" and "Israel".
"Former friends have recounted that Loughner had a fixation for grammar and words, saying that he challenged Giffords at a previous public meeting with the impenetrable question: 'What is government if words have no meaning?' "
In 1932, Philip Johnson at MoMA imported European modernist architecture, renamed "International Style", with the expressed politics removed. Johnson himself was a fascist.

You could write a cultural history of post-war rationalism as modernism hollowed out and bureaucratized, as mannerism is the "science" of idealism, reduced to rule-following by pedants and  ironists, then countered by irrationalism, as irrationalists are the children of rationalists and only the grandchildren of adults. Panofsky saw the baroque as a return to the ideals of the renaissance, an idealism transposed. But for that to work here you'd have to begin not with modernism in the 20th century definition, but the modernity of the 19th.  Roger Kimball: "Not for nothing, perhaps, did Bertrand Russell conclude that Johnson, albeit a 'gentleman' and an amusing dinner companion, was at bottom 'a diabolist.'"

I have a hard time thinking of Russell as an adult.

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