Jack Sinclair I’ve heard of those debates but I haven’t seen or read them.
What’s fascinating to me is how certain ideas can follow others in unexpected : (when all you have is a hammer everything is a nail I suppose)
When I first read Pinker in the mid ’90s, I enjoyed “language Instinct” quite a bit *except* for the stuff about hardwiring which I didn’t agree with.
But I was willing to ignore that and just put it aside as some holdover from a chomskian background.
I knew he had distain for connectionism at the time and would get into these battles over it. it was winter for connectionism at the time, and it was an easy mark so I didn’t think much of it.
but Flash Forward many years, and I discover just how central into his thinking the notion of hardwiring is.
in the language instinct, I treated his discussion of hardwiring as a faulty metaphor that I could substitute evolutionary complexity for — I was a big fan of “game of life” type stuff and a notion of scaffolding that’s dependent on scale.
and yet this thing that I thought was just a side notion of his turned out to be very central to everything that he proclaims[responsivevoice_button voice="US English Male"]