Re: mathematical psychology (was Re: thera-pee)

From: Joseph Sterlynne (
Date: Sat Jul 08 2000 - 17:57:54 MDT

> Damien Broderick

> I dunno if it always will be, but a truly horrid example of inane and maybe
> insane cargo-cultism was French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan's attempted use
> of topology and set theory in understanding the mind, likewise Michel
> Foucault's.

These guys were simply wackos. Their so-called [attempts] at applying mathematics to psychology were nothing but coldly, blatantly nonsensical struggles to get attention, sound profound, and assert some authority for the humanities in the face of real science.

>From [The Architecture of Babel]:

> Of course, it is not only literary critics who misplace Ockham's razor on
> occasion. Discourse within the sciences, especially those which abut
> ideological interests and prejudices most directly, requires the same
> vigilance.

Some literary critics seem to not have Ockham's Razor at all. Or if they did have it they threw it away when they started listening to desperate postmodernist hucksters.

Damien, I realize that you know that this is, as you said, truly horrid. I just find it hard to pass up the opportunity to disparage---or join in disparagement in progress of---the arrogant, sensationalistic, irrational, inane, et cetera industry of which what you have cited is a part.

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