Joined: Oct. 2006
|Quote (Jkrebs @ Sep. 27 2007,15:29)|
|To Reciprocating Bill: very nicely said, and an interesting point.|
There is a bigger theme here that I have noticed in discussions on other topics: that person holding position A cannot really understand position B because they can't step out of their own framework: they can only understand the antithesis or denial of their own position, but not the existence of a different framework. This seems to be why many strawman arguments arise: not because person A is deliberately trying to misrepresent position B, but rather because the only thing about position B that A can understand is a caricature of B's position based on A's framework.
Well, that's right. In fact, FTK's response to the notion of natural origins regarding which the assignment of "accidental" vs. "intentional" is a category error is to attempt to push the question back, asking something like (I'm paraphrasing), "Yes, natural laws are well and good, but where did they come from? Either they were designed or were accidental." This is an attempt to push the question back onto familiar, intentional ground, the framework by means of which she thinks about these questions.
The ascription of intention, and the detection of accidents, may be quite ancient; Tomasello and others have experimentally demonstrated sensitivity to "intentional" versus "accidental" behaviors in chimpanzees, suggesting that such sensitivity was also present in the common ancestor to chimp and hominid lines. The ascription of agency in human beings may have an evolutionary grounding, with a payoff in efficient social cognition, useful both for detecting deception and for establishing cooperation and coordination. Hence we are quite compelled by the ascription of agency.
(edit for correct citation of Tomasello rather than Povinelli)
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.
"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace