Women behaving badly

Carrol Cox cbcox at mail.ilstu.edu
Tue Dec 15 16:31:43 PST 1998

Carrol Cox wrote:

> ""Psychology" as an independent causal factor just doesn't cut it. Frances's
> inability or refusal to even try to understand Doyle's exploratory discussions of
> neuroscience takes on more sinister implications in the light of this attack on
> Mary Schweitzer. She is one of those humanists who [hysterically?] believes in
> the mumbo jumbo that leads to dividing humanity into two parts, one of which is
> superior to the other.

To move the substance forward, I'll simply allow any interpretation anyone wishes to give to this passage and restate more clearly what I meant to say. It isn't the first time and won't be the last when my prose is too elliptic. I won't even apologize for or edit some bad rhetoric.

1. "Psychology" unless narrowly circumscribed (which Frances does not do) is a pretty empty term, usually meaning something like "the emotions" or "blame mother" in the abstract. Frances seems to assume that the opposite of "psychological" is "physiological." Absurd. Hence: Psychology as ... doesn't cut it.

2. Frances's inability...neuroscience...more sinister implications...this attack on Mary Schweitzer. She called Mary a shit. This may be based (i.e., more sinister) on a real contempt for mental patients, witness her unwillingness to try to make sense of Doyle's posts on neuroscience.

3. She is one of those humanists... (This alludes to a debate on humanism being carried on currently on marxism). I.e., humanists hold in contempt all people who do not accept the humanist's definition of what it is to be human (plagiarising from the Theses on Feuerbach to make the point). Frances (by 2) seems to hold to that position.

Note: I can't sneer (in my "mind") at someone without millions of neurochemical movements in the brain. Attempts to oppose "physiological" to "psychological" are incoherent: they in fact can't be expressed.


Viruses cause warts. Warts really have been cured by someone paying the possessor a dime for them. A placebo cancels out a virus.

Stomach ulcers result from a biotic infection, treated by an anti-biotic. But placebos often cure them. In fact, placebos seem to work a little better on what Frances would seemingly call "physiological" illnesses than on those which she would call "psychological" illnesses. Ulcers for a very long time were believed to be "psychosomatic," a term which becomes more or less meaningless except on a dualist basis of "mind" and "body" being independently real.


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