- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Let's get back to politics.

Posted by: Hank on February 09, 19100 at 17:38:42:

In Reply to: You forgot something... posted by Barry Stoller on February 09, 19100 at 11:01:35:

: You neglected to mention the most salient aspect of the Chomsky-Skinner debate: Chomsky's slanderous hatchet-job on Beyond Freedom and Dignity published in the New York Review of Books in early 1972.

Of the many books and articles that Chomsky and Skinner wrote--one that is another example of the age old Nature vs. Nurture debate--the one that is the "most salient" is one article written 28 years ago and re-published in an anthology 13 years ago? Of course, to an ideologue with blinders on like you, a 28 year old article has to be the most salient because it fits your point the best.

Mad Dog said Chomsky was guilty of a: GROSS MISREPRESENTATION (when he said) this about Skinner and behaviorism:


: In fact, there is nothing in Skinner's approach that is incompatible with a police state in which rigid laws are enforced by people who are themselves subject to them and the threat of dire punishment hangs over all... Extending these thoughts, consider a well-run concentration camp with inmates spying on one another and the gas oven smoking in the distance and perhaps an occasional verbal hint as a reminder of the meaning of this reinforcer.(3)

To which I remind Mad Dog, there's a big difference between saying "there's nothing incompatible with (something)" and saying that "(something) is (something)."

Consider the two sentences:

1a) "There's nothing incompatible with my Harry advocating free-love and Sue, his daughter, having one-night stands. If we are to take Harry's position to its logical extreme, then Harry cannot object to his daughter having an unlimited number of one-night stands."

1b) "Sue, Harry's daughter, is a tramp. And it's all Harry's fault. Harry is no better than a pimp!"

You are accusing Chomsky of saying 1b, when in fact he is saying 1a.

To which Mad Dog should say when his eloquence escapes him:

Mad Dog: What blatant bullshit!

More Mad Dog: Now, heard that Chomsky wrote about Lenin, but I confess I didn't read it. Considering the egregious slander Chomsky wrote about Skinner, I wouldn't waste my time. . .

To which Hank now says: Well, you're wasting your time doing SOMETHING, Mad Dog. You sure ain't doing much honest thinking!

You're right. Let's get back to politics. I can't wait to hear your comments on my posts on the problem of an innate sense of morality.

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