On how not to argue about Chomskyan mentalism

Rudolf P. Botha


In "Methodological bases of a progress~ve mentalism" (Botha 1980; henceforth: MB), I first identify a number of methodological shortcomings of Chomskyan mentalism and then attempt to overcome these by articu1a- . . . 1· (1) t~ng the methodo1og~ca1 bases of an a1ternat~ve form of menta ~sm. Peter Slezak (1931:2) now proposes "to examine Botha's criticisms of Chomsky in detail with. a v~ew to demonstrating that they are without . . d." (2) foundat~on and are based on the most fundamental m~sunderstan ~ngs . It will be shown below that Slezak has failed, for two basic reasons, to give substance to this proposal. First and foremost, Slezak's discussion is self-aborting because it fails to address the ma~n arguments offered by MB in support of its criticisms of Chomskyan mentalism. Second, the more relevant comments which Slezak makes on MB's criticisms of Chomskyan mentalism are generated by an assortment of misconceptions and misrepresentations. For these reasons, then, it will be concluded that Slezak's discussion leaves MB's criticisms of Chomskyan mentalism completely intact.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5774/8-0-112


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