A Case for the Psychological Reality of Language

Michael Devitt

in Ignorance of Language

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199250967
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603945 | DOI:
A Case for the Psychological Reality of Language

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This chapter begins with the popular “Representational Theory of the Mind” (RTM), according to which a thought involves a mental representation. It then follows Fodor in arguing for the controversial “Language-of-Thought Hypothesis” (LOTH), according to which representation is language-like. On the basis of LOTH, it is argued that the syntactic structure of this representation is likely to be similar to that of the sentence that expresses it in the thinker’s language. The tentative proposal is that a language is largely psychologically real in a speaker in that its rules are similar to the structure rules of her thought.

Keywords: thoughts; Representational Theory of the Mind; RTM; mental representation; Language-of-Thought Hypothesis; LOTH; Fodor; psychological reality

Chapter.  10444 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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