I learned through a new FoL post that there is a nice linguistics blog that I didn’t know about yet. It’s written by Dan Milway, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. I’ll add him to my post about linguistics blogs. In the meantime, here‘s a taste of his writing:
[S]uppose we find an empirical generalization, G (e.g., All languages that allow X also allow Y), the difficult task of the theoretician is to show that G follows from independently motivated theoretical principles. The “theoretician,” on the other hand, has another path available, which is to restate G in “theoretical” terms (e.g., Functional head, H, is responsible for both X and Y), and then (maybe) go looking for some corroboration. Never mind that restating G in different terms does nothing to expand our understanding of why G holds, but understanding is always secondary for instrumentalism.