Language Acquisition Device or shared common reality?

There are three claims that Chomsky makes about the existence of Language Acquisition Device (LAD).

The first claim is that children can understand all kinds of sentences without having to have heard or learn them before. To this we can say the same thing about adults as well. In fact, every time I open a book (or any other piece of new writing) I haven’t read before I am comprehending it as well. This act is so common and normal that we should be thinking so much about as being something special.

The second claim is that all language seems to have universal elements. To this, one can also argue that it is not the elements of language that is universal but the rather it is the shared reality that is universal.

The third claim is that some grammatical principles are acquired regardless of culture or intelligence. To this, I will argue in a similar to the second claim that the medium of language is universal so that any language only have a limited number of possible choices available to it. Furthermore, for what purpose or reason would their be a develop of a language away from general principles. If such a principle does exist surely it would have been developed and supersede the other languages as being inadequate.

While we probably do have more of a capacity for language it is probably more generalised than Chomsky would like to believe.

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20 responses to “Language Acquisition Device or shared common reality?”

  1. This is an interesting topic.

    Let’s draw out the possible views of the mind. I think there are more ways than just the tradition dualism and monisms.


  2. Yes. Before I was questioning that the brain has anything to do with mind. Here I was suggesting that consciousness/mind is not “emergent”, but that it is entirely a fabrication which does nothing it supposes of itself.

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  3. Were you saying it isn’t but arguing here that it was?

    Again, mind, consciousness, soul, spirit are loose terms that have never been entirely defined or agreed upon.

    Perhaps we should start here.


  4. Well, because we are having a discussion about the mind brain situation. Here I am talking about the science of the brain and consciousness, where my position before was questioning whether or not the brain could even be the seat of consciousness.

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  5. I see now the point of this.

    The approach relies on a priority to phenomena, where time as a psychological phenomena never matches the noumena.

    I am satisfied that evolution has brought us to this about world views. But I will argue that this is not universal.

    That tribe in Amazon that never encounters God does not include God in its world view. To encounter this God it is only through the missionary, the Church to which this missionary belongs, and the Christian foundation as cultural artifact, and never actually God itself that the tribe comes to know. In other words, God may not be there as such, only the physical structures that posit (a) God.

    Upon being asked “do you believe in God,” the answer a tribes-person isn’t limited to the answers “yes” or “no”, as the missionary would it to be. But rather this “believer” can answer with all sincerity with “Who?” or “What?”.

    I’d have to say, I myself did not really encounter God until ages 10. I’d call it a Pandora’s Box moment. Much like seeing pornography – once seen it cannot be unseen. But the “awareness” or conception of God or pornography does not mean it is right or necessary.


  6. But I got to say that this line of discussion is contradicting the position I was taking in our earlier conversation 😄

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  7. Just saying what he argues about what psychological studies show. Becuase if the human consciousness/knowledge/choice is but a particular manner of neurological functioning that arises after the fact, then yes, things and motions would already be taking thier course. Knowing and perceiving itself would be merely a particular manifestation of the part of the universe as it is already operating, and likewise the part, the human being not separated from the universal functioning. Yes. Like a clock, but a clock that “understands” its activity is not dependent or limited upon its machinery as part of its operation of being a clock.

    It would be like An evolutionary formation required of the advanced traits acquired; human consciousness merely the particular Being that such adaptations take form as: thinking, deciding, analyzing etc, actually “sense”, —as such sense is indeed merely a kind of instinctual act, like a jellyfish or ameoba— the world and respond like a determined instinct that “thinks” necessarily “more” than the act, as though that particular trait’s (consciousness) job or “cause” is to “be more” than the simple conditions. Very Hegel “social animal”. Or what Aristotle “political animal”.

    Likewise the evolutionary product of transcendence, religion, God and such, and eventually for our time, Science. Becuase those would be the main preoccupations for such evolutionary development, a way for itself to never have to encounter its reality, It’s truth. This would also account for why emotional dystrgulatio. tends to arise when beliefs are challenged, all the way through culture and society. And for all the dysfunction and psychological manifestations and defense mechanisms that occur around confronting a persons “belief system” or “world view”. Indeed it goes right or the heart of ethics and sin. Indeed, trauma fits right in there also; that is, the fact that a person could —that it is possible for a person to— get so screwed up over a large challenge to her world view. Indeed, this theory would explain how a human being would even able to have to have a world view, or why it should be possible or necessary to have or know of one or many.


  8. Then you know something of time that I do not.

    There seems to be assumptions here. That time is non-linear, that maybe it is an illusion.

    What is marked (bring red flagged) is “already taking place”. There assumes determinism when there may be none.


  9. Have you ever played a code breaking called Mastermind? The point is to get a four-digit code in as few attempts as possible. You must start somewhere. You maximise the information you are able to glean. While the chances are 1,680 to 1 you can get this code out on average 6 attempts.

    To find real things is like Mastermind. You try different combinations until you find something you are certain about. One can work out a lot given very little information.

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  10. The implication is that the ball is likewise already taking its course, that what we understand and perceive as anticipation and prediction is also but an “interpretation”, a “making sense” of a universal activity that is already taking place.

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  11. If the mind is an illusion, how can we know what real things exist, and what illusionary things don’t exist?

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  12. Prediction, yes. Anticipation, yes. Nothing that experience cannot explain.

    I am not bring to shoot you or his theories down. But this is a phenomenon well studied in batting in baseball where it is physically impossible to hit a ball without anticipation and prediction.

    We are good at these things. It can be applied to all our functionings without the need of LAD or any module. Generalised functions and actions are enough, I think.


  13. It’s a compelling offering though: He uses an array of psychological experiments from the history of psychology all sorts of experiments that were done for all sorts of various reasons and he looks at them in a different lens and to see what they’re really telling us about how the mind is working.

    In short he is saying that given a human body any particular stimulus that any part of the body would deliver to the brain must take a certain amount of time to get to the brain itself. And yet we don’t really experience the world as a bunch of variously timed phenomena. For example if I put my hand on the steering wheel, my hand touching the steering wheel, the site of my hand touching the steering wheel, the sound of it, and a mired of other sensations that might go into my hand touching the steering wheel, do not all arrive in the brain or the processing centers at the same time as we might think in our experience of my hand touching the steering wheel. And in fact he presents a bunch of scientific experiments along those lines to show that indeed the signal that is arriving from these various points of contact, regardless of what the sensors are, or but also including the distance say a fingertip, or my toe, or my belly button or my nose, that all these signals are not arriving at the same time but indeed are significantly varied in the amount of times that they’re arriving and so there must be something about consciousness that takes all the signals that are arriving at various times and coordinates them into a seamless experience of consciousness. And through all his mathematical and neurological studies, including qualitative studies that have been done over the past 7080 years of psychology, he comes to the conclusion that the consolidated experience occurs 1/2 a second before we have any awareness at all in consciousness about that experience, and that this happens all the time at every moment.

    It Really is interesting

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  14. Any damage to the brain brings about a change in the mind. If there is truly and duality of mind and brain, or a mind-monism then no amount of damage to the brain should change the mind.

    Half a second before … call it experience. Call it deja vu (incidentally, deja vu lessens with age (experience. Coinincidence?).

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  15. Many a times I have hit the tennis ball in situations I have not come across. This does not mean I cannot GENERALISE from the experiences to return the tennis ball.

    The situation of language is not dissimilar to the situation of space.


  16. This could account for why Childerens already can understand sentences they have never before learned. Also. As well as other aspects.

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  17. 🤣. There’s a book by a neuroscientist I forget his name but he’s had a theory for a while and he still writing books. His theory of the brain is that there is a evolutionary developed part or function of the brain called “the interpreter” and this function is responsible for everything we know about consciousness, or basically everything that we can know. That basically he formulate an argument that everything that is occurring has already occurred a half a second before we can even have any sort of cognition to choose upon. And so choice it’s self is already a kind of interpretation, A particularly human evolutionary trait, that comes upon what is already occurring in the world as if it is making choices, as if it is coming upon things objectively and being able to consider things and make decisions upon them. His theory is that all these kinds of notions are already occurring, that they’ve already occurred a half a second before we even come to any sort of cognition whatsoever about them. That the idea of choice in freedom, the activities that we assume as the free-agent and such ideas like that, I really the product of the function of the brain to interpret what is already occurring itself, and that this is an evolutionary trait of the brain of the mind, in the same way that sexual reproduction is an evolutionary trait, or the ability to taste broccoli, etc

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  18. On one hand, I like it kind of logic that goes into this kind of analysis of language and history and evolution and stuff.

    But on the other hand if we truly see human beings as having evolved, as a post to coming up on some special being Ness, then we would have to admit that language is not something that we are processing in anyway. The development of language must have occurred in stages that were pretty much in perceivable and that at no time was there and “a-ha“ moment where suddenly people had language or could reflect upon it, or use it to reflect into any world. And this is to say that the very idea that we are reflecting upon anything or creating anything or choosing anything is ultimately just a particular way, or just a particular fashion that the object called humanity likes to think about it self. Which is redundant. Review that somehow or we are knowing anything truthfully about an evolution of the human being must be utterly based in a creation, or creating mechanism of consciousness that itself is developing its own ideas of itself in and eternally present moment, no different than a rock sits there and does rock Ness. In fact this is so much the case that we cannot even say that ideas have any substance let alone a tree or a rock or a brick. And this is not nihilism, because nihilism is based on the idea that we have a privilege to view upon the universe. It is, for lack of a better term, for fulfillment-ism. It is total meaning full Ness.

    But in most cases this very idea is understood as merely an acknowledgment, or reification of what human beings love to think about themselves already: that it is and just merely another idea and so we can argue back-and-forth about who has the better logic or something.


    The real point is just like looking to skulls of our ancestors, I’ve asked you a pitta case or a rectus or whatever the hell. It’s almost ridiculous. Here is a whole science, a whole history, a whole meaningful structure that permeates into every thought that I can think I most, based on like 100 skulls. Maybe a couple thousand bones. It is such an arrogance of the human being to suppose that we can transcend 100,000 years of creatures living on the planet with 100 skulls to come to any issue or conclusion about them whatsoever. We can’t even figure out what happened six months ago in politics let alone over the course of 100,000 years or even 15,000 years. And here we are building megastructures of truth on 100 or so skulls spread out over hundreds of thousands of years.

    It’s utter capitalistic nonsense.

    That is, when looking at it along one route.

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