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1970s[edit | edit source]

Hot issues[edit | edit source]

The later half of this decade was revolutionary indeed! Since 1975, many scholars began to take very seriously such ideas as metaphor, implication, ambiguity, and the like, of language, which are the common and varied aspects of such a loose ordinary language that it had hardly mattered in science.

No one may not have questioned why such academically unusual questions arose all of a sudden. Was it purely accidental and coincidental? They may say either yes or no. Anyway there must be why in the right way. Such a wide range of consilience would be hardly accidental.

1972 Bateson[edit | edit source]

We say the map is different from the territory. But what is the territory? [...] Always, the process of representation will filter it out so that the mental world is only maps of maps, ad infinitum.

1973 Geertz[edit | edit source]

1974 Pirsig[edit | edit source]

1975 Buzan[edit | edit source]

1975 Douglas[edit | edit source]

1975 Fodor[edit | edit source]

1975 Fritjof[edit | edit source]

1975 Grice[edit | edit source]

  • Grice, Paul (1975). "Logic and Conversation," pp. 41-58, in: Cole, Peter & Jerry L. Morgan eds. (1975). Syntax and Semantics, Vol. 3: Speech Act. New York: Academic Press. [^]

1975 Kochen[edit | edit source]

1975 Krishnamurti[edit | edit source]

The description is not the described.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (c. 1975) [1] explained: "it is like a man who is hungry. Any amount of description of the right kind of food will never satisfy him. He is hungry, he wants food."

1975 March[edit | edit source]

Strong support for the limited-rational adaptation perspective [Simon (1955)] emerged with the introduction of the concept of "ambiguity". March and Olsen, 1975 noted that the rational adaptation inherent in learning models, including Cyert and March's (1963) learning cycle, is probably unrealistic. Rather, ambiguity prevails -- goals are ambiguous or in conflict, experience can be misleading, and interpretations are problematic. The authors explored four situations in which ambiguity enters the learning cycle ....


1975 Pask[edit | edit source]

Conversation theory is a cybernetic and dialectic framework that offers a scientific theory to explain how interactions lead to "construction of knowledge", or, "knowing": wishing to preserve ... the necessity for there to be a "knower".[2] This work is proposed by Gordon Pask in the 1970s.

Conversation theory regards social systems as symbolic, language-oriented systems where responses depend on one person's interpretation of another person's behavior, and where meanings are agreed through conversations. But since meanings are agreed, and the agreements can be illusory and transient, scientific research requires stable reference points in human transactions to allow for reproducible results. Pask found these points to be the understandings which arise in the conversations between two participating individuals, and which he defined rigorously.

Conversation theory describes interaction between two or more cognitive systems, such as a teacher and a student or distinct perspectives within one individual, and how they engage in a dialog over a given concept and identify differences in how they understand it.

Conversation theory came out of the work of Gordon Pask on instructional design and models of individual learning styles. In regard to learning styles, he identified conditions required for concept sharing and described the learning styles holist, serialist, and their optimal mixture versatile. He proposed a rigorous model of analogy relations.

From w: Conversation Theory

See also

1975 Percy[edit | edit source]

The Delta Factor, Percy's theory of language, is framed in the context of the story of Helen Keller's learning to say and sign the word water while Annie Sullivan poured water over her hands and repeatedly made the signs for the word into her hand. A behaviorist linguistic reading of this scene might suggest a causal relationship -- in other words, Keller felt Sullivan's sign-language stimulus in her hand and in response made a connection in her brain between the signifier and the signified. This is too simplistic a reading, says Percy, because Keller was receiving from both the signifier (the sign for water) and the referent (the water itself). This creates a triangle between water (the word), water (the liquid), and Helen, in which all three corners lead to the other two corners and which Percy says is "absolutely irreducible". This linguistic triangle is thus the building block for all of human intelligence. The moment when this Delta Δ entered the mind of man -- whether this happened via random chance or through the intervention of a deity -- he became man.

From w: The Message in the Bottle

1975 Polanyi[edit | edit source]

Published very shortly before his death in February 1976, Meaning is the culmination of Michael Polanyi's philosophic endeavors. With the assistance of Harry Prosch, Polanyi goes beyond his earlier critique of scientific "objectivity" to investigate meaning as founded upon the imaginative and creative faculties.

Establishing that science is an inherently normative form of knowledge and that society gives meaning to science instead of being given the "truth" by science, Polanyi contends here that the foundation of meaning is the creative imagination. Largely through metaphorical expression in poetry, art, myth, and religion, the imagination is used to synthesize the otherwise chaotic and disparate elements of life. To Polanyi these integrations stand with those of science as equally valid modes of knowledge. He hopes this view of the foundation of meaning will restore validity to the traditional ideals that were undercut by modern science. Polanyi also outlines the general conditions of a free society that encourage varied approaches to truth, and includes an illuminating discussion of how to restore, to modern minds, the possibility for the acceptance of religion.

From the back matter

1975 Putnam[edit | edit source]

  • Putnam, Hilary (1975). Mind, Language and Reality, Philosophical Papers Vol. 2, Cambridge University Press. [^]

One of Putnam's contributions to philosophy of language is his claim that "meanings just ain't in the head". He illustrated this using his "Twin Earth" thought experiment to argue that environmental factors play a substantial role in determining meaning. Twin Earth shows this, according to Putnam, since on Twin Earth everything is identical to Earth, except that its lakes, rivers and oceans are filled with XYZ whereas those of earth are filled with H2O. Consequently, when an earthling, Fredrick, uses the Earth-English word "water", it has a different meaning from the Twin Earth-English word "water" when used by his physically identical twin, Frodrick, on Twin Earth. Since Fredrick and Frodrick are physically indistinguishable when they utter their respective words, and since their words have different meanings, meaning cannot be determined solely by what is in their heads. This led Putnam to adopt a version of semantic externalism with regard to meaning and mental content.[3] [4] The late philosopher of mind and language Donald Davidson, despite his many differences of opinion with Putnam, wrote that semantic externalism constituted an "anti-subjectivist revolution" in philosophers' way of seeing the world. Since the time of Descartes, philosophers had been concerned with proving knowledge from the basis of subjective experience. Thanks to Putnam, Tyler Burge and others, Davidson said, philosophy could now take the objective realm for granted and start questioning the alleged "truths" of subjective experience.[5]

From w: Hilary Putnam #Semantic externalism

Putnam's "anti-subjectivist revolution" is diametrically contrasted with the humanist or anti-objectivist revolution, as suddenly getting torrent since the 1973 oil crisis, as illustrated by #1974 Pirsig, #1975 Grice, #1975 Percy, #1975 Polanyi, and many others. He looks not so much revolutionary as reactionary.

1975 Ricoeur[edit | edit source]

  • Ricoeur, Paul (1975). The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-Disciplinary Studies in the Creation of Meaning in Language. Robert Czerny, Kathleen McLaughlin & John Costello, trans., London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978. [^]

1975 Searle[edit | edit source]

  • Searle, John (1975). "Indirect Speech Acts," pp. 59-82, in: Cole, Peter & Jerry L. Morgan, eds. (1975). Syntax and Semantics, Vol. 3: Speech Act. New York: Academic Press. [^]

1976 Axelrod[edit | edit source]

1976 Boyd[edit | edit source]

To comprehend and cope with our environment we develop mental patterns or concepts of meaning. The purpose of this paper is to sketch out how we destroy and create these patterns to permit us to both shape and be shaped by a changing environment. In this sense, the discussion also literally shows why we cannot avoid this kind of activity if we intend to survive on our own terms.

The activity is dialectic in nature generating both disorder and order that emerges as a changing and expanding universe of mental concepts matched to a changing and expanding universe of observed reality.


1976 Chisholm[edit | edit source]

Suggesting pragmatics, the title is deliberately contrasted with Quine, Willard (1960). Word and Object. MIT Press. [^]

1976 Leach[edit | edit source]

  • Leach, Edmund (1976). Culture and Communication: The Logic by Which Symbols are Connected. Cambridge University Press. [^]

1977 Dworkin[edit | edit source]

1977 Gibson[edit | edit source]

  • Gibson, Jame J. (1977). "The Theory of Affordances," pp. 67-82. In: Robert Shaw & John Bransford, eds. Perceiving, Acting, and Knowing: Toward an Ecological Psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. [^]

1978 Dunn[edit | edit source]

1978 Sacks[edit | edit source]

  • Sacks, Sheldon, ed. (1978). Critical Inquiry, vol. 5, no. 1 (Special Issue: On Metaphor), University of Chicago. [^]

1978 Turner[edit | edit source]

  • Turner, Victor & Edith Turner (1978). Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture: Anthropological Perspectives. Columbia University Press. [^]

1979 Gibson[edit | edit source]

1979 Lyotard[edit | edit source]

1979 McCorduck[edit | edit source]

The new edition also has two separate time-lines, one tracing the evolution of AI in its narrowest sense, and a second one taking a much broader view of intellectual history, and placing AI in the context of all human information gathering, organizing, propagation, and discovery, a central place for AI that has only become apparent with the development of the second generation World Wide Web, which will depend deeply on AI techniques for finding, shaping and inventing knowledge. [6]

Herb Simon himself urged me to re-publish. "Pamela," he wrote in email a few months before he died. "Do consider what might be done about bringing Machines Who Think back into print. More machines are thinking every day, and I would expect that every one of them would want to buy a copy. Soccer robots alone should account for a first printing."

Q: Shouldn't we just say no to intelligent machines? Aren't the risks too scary?

A: The risks are scary; the risks are real; but I don't think we should say no. In my book, I go further. I don't think we can say no. Here's what I mean: one of the best things humans have ever done for themselves was to collect, organize, and distribute information in the form of libraries and encyclopedias. We have always honored that effort, because we understand that no human can carry everything worth knowing inside a single head. The World Wide Web is this generation's new giant encyclopedia, and the Semantic Web, which is the next generation Web, will have intelligence built in. It will be as if everybody with access to a computer can have the world's smartest reference librarian at their fingertips, ready to help find exactly what you need, no matter how ill-formed your question is. And it will be able to offer some assurance that the information you are getting is reliable -- the present World Wide Web cannot do that. In other words, intelligent machines seem to be part of a long human impulse to educate ourselves better and better, to make life better for each of us.

See also

1979 Ortony[edit | edit source]

  • Ortony, Andrew, ed. (1979). Metaphor and Thought, Cambridge University Press. 2nd. ed. 1993. [^]

1979 Reddy[edit | edit source]

What do speakers of English say when communication fails or goes astray? Let us consider (1) through (3), some very typical examples,

(1) Try to get your thoughts across better
(2) None of Mary's feelings came through to me with any clarity
(3) You still haven't given me any idea of what you mean,

and do as Schön has suggested -- take them as problem-setting stories, as descriptions of "what is wrong and what needs fixing." Are there metaphors in the examples? Do these metaphors set the directions for possible problem-solving techniques? Although (1) through (3) contains no fresh metaphors, there is in each case a dead metaphor. After all, we do not literally "get thoughts across" when we talk, do we? This sounds like mental telepathy or clairvoyance, and suggests that communication transters thought processes somehow bodily. Actually, no one receives anyone else's thoughts directly in their minds when they are using language. Mary's feelings, in example (2), can be perceived directly only by Mary; they do not really "come through to us" when she talks. Nor can anyone literally "give you an idea" -- since there are locked within the skull and life process of each of us. Surely, then, none of these expressions is to be taken completely at face value. Language seems rather to help one person to construct out of his own stock of mental stuff something like a replica, or copy, of someone else's thought -- a replica which can be more or less accurate, depending on many factors. If we could indeed send thoughts to one another, we would have little need for a communications system.

If there are dead metaphors in (1) through (3), then, they all seem to involve the figurative assertion that language transfers human thoughts and feelings. Notice that this assertion, even in its present, very general form, leads already to a distinct viewpoint on communications problems. A person who speaks poorly does not know how to use language to send people his thoughts; and, conversely, a good speaker knows how to transfer his thoughts perfectly via language. If we were to follow this viewpoint, the next question would be: What must the poor speaker do with his thoughts if he is to transfer them more accurately by means of language? The surprising thing is that, whether we like it or not, the English language does follow this viewpoint. It provides, in the form of a wealth of metaphorical expression, answers to this and other question, all of which answers are perfectly coherent with the assumption that human communication achieves the physical transfer of thoughts and feelings. If there were only a few such expressions involved, or if they were random, incoherent figures of speech arising from different paradigms -- or if they were abstreact, not particularly graphic images -- them one might just succeed in dismissing them as harmless analogies. But in fact, none of these mitigating circumstances comes into play.

From The conduit metaphor [1] (pp. 286-7)

1979 Rorty[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Quotes of JK from the JK Foundation
  2. Pask, Gordon (1975). Conversation, Cognition and Learning. Elsevier. [^]
  3. Putnam, H. (1981): "Brains in a vat" in Reason, Truth, and History, Cambridge University Press; reprinted in DeRose and Warfield, editors (1999): Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader, Oxford UP.
  4. Putnam, H. (1975) Mind, Language and Reality. Philosophical Papers, vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975. ISBN 88-459-0257-9
  5. Davidson, D. (2001) Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 88-7078-832-6
  6. X