21.396 cognitive science like alchemy?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2007 10:07:14 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 21, No. 396.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 10:55:49 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: cognitive science like alchemy?

Dear colleagues,

I have rattling around in my head fragments of a quotation, which I
think is from Richard Rorty but cannot find in his works, to the
effect that one day neurobiology will do to cognitive science what
chemistry did to alchemy. The parallel is rather commonly made, for
example by John Searle, and comparing an intellectual practice you
don't like to alchemy is hardly rare. But the words I remember reading
were a particularly economical and effective way of asserting a
person's belief that cognitive science is a folk-science.

This note is *not* intended to provoke ferocious debate about the
solidity of cognitive science or lack of same, though that might be
quite enjoyable. I merely want to get the quotation right and
correctly attributed.

Many thanks.


Professor Willard McCarty
Received on Thu Dec 06 2007 - 05:28:16 EST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Thu Dec 06 2007 - 05:28:18 EST