Interested in Language
what is the meaning of 'educated in a very narrowly pinched and mandarin view '.
This is somebody who was certainly educated in a very narrowly pinched and mandarin view about the nature of language and of cognitive science, and it involved giving no ground at all to evolutionary considerations.1. Does 'narrowly pinched' mean restricted/restrictive (not sure which one)? Does it also connote 'narrow minded'?
I found the following definitions of 'mandarin' in freedictionary.com
n.1. A member of any of the nine ranks of high public officials in the Chinese Empire.
2. A high government official or bureaucrat.
3. A member of an elite group, especially a person having influence or high status in intellectual or cultural circles.
4. Mandarin The official national standard spoken language of China, which is based on the principal dialect spoken in and around Beijing. Also called Guoyu, Putonghua.
5. A mandarin orange.
adj.1. Of, relating to, or resembling a mandarin.
2. Marked by elaborate and refined language or literary style.
2. Does 'mandarin view' mean 'elitist' view?
@fivejedjon, thank you.
Could this be of any help?
MIT - definition of MIT by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
The sentence in question (about 'narrowly pinched and mandarin view') comes from a write-up on Steve Pinker by Daniel C. Dennett here. (Stephen Pinker is the experimental psychologist and cognitive scientist who was (apparently) trained at MIT.) In it, he says:
"What I find particularly interesting about Steve Pinker is the clarity and resoluteness with which he turned his back on the ethos of MIT, where he was raised. This is somebody who was certainly educated in a very narrowly pinched and mandarin view about the nature of language and of cognitive science, and it involved giving no ground at all to evolutionary considerations. When I first met Steve, he seemed to me to be the perfect avatar of that attitude, the ultimate MIT cognitive- science product. But he's so smart; he saw the light, and shifted ground quite decisively and with great effect. That was wonderful to see."
'Ethos' is defined as:
""The characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations"
I got the above definition from whatever dictionary that the Chrome browser uses when I double-click on a word.
EDGE 3rd Culture: A Talk With Steven Pinker
ps. Olympian beat me to it.
Last edited by 5jj; 07-Oct-2011 at 21:15.