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Darwin-L Message Log 4:67 (December 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<4:67>From GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Fri Dec 17 09:14:27 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1993 09:17:22 -0600 (CST)
From: GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 95
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I would like to give my response to the _Sci.Am._ article by Renfrew. Although
I'm no linguist (I teach philosophy of language from time-to-time: but that
hardly counts, does it? :-) ), yet I thought that Renfrew's article serves
a useful purpose, and might even end up as a reading in my class next Fall.
Here's why. First, it's daring. There's a certain need for that, in any
science. Secondly, it announces itself as daring. Such announcement is
ALWAYS needed in a daring hypothesis. Thirdly, it quite clearly states that
it is a minority opinion. This is useful for obvious pedogogical reasons.
Fourthly, it is a Big Picture. Although this is related to its being daring,
it's obviously not the same. Finally, it embodies the integrative spirit
which has manifested itself so frequently on this list.
In response to Wills complaint that the majority (Renfrew's "splitters"?
I ask this naively, but honestly...) don't/haven't gotten the same amount
of ink, I offer to include in my readings an analogue article from the
majority. [I realize that Wills might be making just the point that there
ARE no analogue article, precisely because Renfrew's getting all the ink in
_Sci.Am._ and its ilk. My offer still stands, given this further
understanding.] I hope I haven't misunderstood Wills' point. In any case, I
await eagerly any suggestions for alternative readings.
George Gale
ggale@vax1.umkc.edu

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