[percy-l] language theory

Karey L. Perkins karey at charter.net
Wed Mar 3 19:06:58 EST 2004

It seems that the process some neuroscientists/others are now going through:
i.e.: searching for a physical brain location for language (which it seems
much progress is being made recently, and these brain candidates for
language locale have been actually  been found) doesn't go anywhere towards
solving the problem of how thought is created or how it arises from the
physical brain.  In other words, maybe the FOXP2 gene really is responsible
for language, let's say it is; does that really tell us any more about the
language phenomenon?  I have to agree with Ken Armstrong, we're making
dyadic progress, but really not getting any farther into understanding HOW
this triadic process happens.

But then I have to admit I'm a novice with dyads and triads.  I understand
Percy's explanation of it, but  those guys on the Peirce list leave me way
behind.  So maybe I just don't have enough background to "get it"...can
anyone help??   Perhaps Deledalle will be of some help.


----- Original Message -----
From: Kenneth Ketner
To: Percy-L at happyhouse.metalab.unc.edu :Literary and Philosophical
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 4:53 PM
Subject: Re: [percy-l] language theory

Why would brain processes be only dyadic (i.e., "surely dyadic")?

Ken Armstrong wrote:
> At 10:21 AM 2/26/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>> Still struggling with the other question I had mentioned last time
>> ("If there is a physical/biological brain location for language
>> (surely dyadic), how is that this dyadic structure creates triadic
>> thought? Aren't we back to Descartes' dilemma of how a mind/body
>> interacts?").  I didn't quite understand Ken's answer:  ("More like
>> we're already in it when we assume that the dyadic and the
>> triadic happen in totally different contexts. Why not one is subsumed
>> to the other?  But can that be explained dyadically? No.")
>> Karey
> Sorry if my answer was cryptic. I think the answer to your question, in
> part, is that the dyadic brain structure does not create thought. I know
> that this answer will be unacceptable to some, but it seems to me that
> your question has brought to bear the usefulness of the Peirce/Percy
> terms dyadic and triadic. Keeping a close focus on the dyadic of the
> brain will bring all sorts of wondrous insights into the physical
> processes that accompany thinking and speech, but cannot answer what it
> is that creates thought.  Percy addressed something similar in Message
> in the Bottle when he noted that the physical explanation for triadic
> phenomenon regresses until proponents are brought to the idea of
> homunculi pulling the strings of the brain, etc. We can know more and
> more about the dyadic, but, to paraphrase, there is no progress in the
> triadic.
> Ken A.
> --
> An archive of all list discussion is available at
> http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy/hypermail
> Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

   Kenneth L. Ketner
Paul Whitfield Horn Professor
Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism - MS 0002
Texas Tech University
   Charles Sanders Peirce Interdisciplinary Professor
   School of Nursing
   Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Lubbock, TX 79409-0002
806 742 3128
   Office email: kenneth.ketner at ttu.edu
   Home email: ketner at arisbeassociates.com
Office website: http://www.pragmaticism.net
Personal website: http://www.wyttynys.net


An archive of all list discussion is available at

Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy
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