Blogs are a different universe. Brad DeLong runs one of the better blogs, mainly economics, but branching widely. On August 22, he published a long and thoughtful review of my new MIT book, From Molecule to Metaphor: A Neural Theory of Language. Within two days there were over thirty responses, none from anyone who had even seen the book. We will give you the link to all this shortly, but I would like to add a few comments that should help you make sense of the wild and wonderful knowledge-free blog commentaries.
Most of this is from a commentary of my own, somewhere in the middle of the list, when it occurred to me that there were major misconstruals of the book in play:
Here are two more brief quotes from my book that might help.
p3. Language and culture are, of course, carried by the family and by the community. But each child has to rebuild it all in his or her own mind.
p.48 There is nothing unusual or exotic in maintaining several perspectives at the same time. Think of some of the many perspectives you have about your bicycle or your car. It is a mode of transportation, but also an investment, a source of pleasure, and possibly a status symbol. If it isn’t functioning properly, you might start thinking about the details of how it works or who could fix it for you.
A neural theory of language is not intended to replace historical, cultural, and other perspectives on language. On the contrary, we suggest that a better understanding of how people learn and use language is essential for such studies. This is best seen in the work of my NTL partner, George Lakoff.
An alternative subtitle for the book would be "Towards a Unified Cognitive Science". The claim is not that neuroscience will solve the problems of language and thought, but that:
1) we need to take all the evidence seriously
2) we have the tools to do this
Read DeLong's post and the comments here.