maandag 28 maart 2011

Poem on a passage from Churchland

"Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes", in: A Neurocomputational Perspective. The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science, MIT Press, 1989.
The quotes are from pp. 7-9.

The sea fury.

The wind could know anger, the moon
jealousy, the river generosity, the sea fury

and so forth.

These were not metaphors.
Sacrifices were made and auguries undertaken
to placate or divine the changing passions of the gods.

The sea fury.

Consider the miracle of memory
with its lightning capacity for relevant retrieval,
or the rich variety of perceptual illusions.

Consider our utter ignorance
of the nature and functions of sleep.

These were not metaphors.

The river generosity, the sea fury
One particularly outstanding mystery
is the nature of the learning process itself.

Folk psychology is at best
a highly superficial theory, 

a partial and unpenetrating gloss
(consider our utter ignorance)

and we are negligibly better
at explaining human behaviour in its terms
than was Sophocles

and the sea fury.

We are here exploring a possibility,
and the facts demand no more.

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