Some Actual Positions on Psychological Reality

Michael Devitt

in Ignorance of Language

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199250967
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603945 | DOI:
Some Actual Positions on Psychological Reality

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This chapter places some historically interesting actual positions among the possible positions on psychological reality, on linguistic competence. There is strong evidence that Chomsky is committed to the Representational Thesis (RT), but that commitment is open to question. Although Fodor, Bever, and Garrett, Bresnan and Kaplan, and Berwick and Weinberg all seem to subscribe to RT, it is often unclear what role, if any, RT plays in their theories of language use. Matthews rejects RT. His view of the psychological reality is hard to distinguish from the uncontroversial minimal position according to which the processing rules simply “respect” the linguistic rules.

Keywords: linguistic competence; Chomsky; Representational Thesis; RT; Fodor; Bever; Garrett; Bresnan; Kaplan; Berwick

Chapter.  11401 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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