Two Approaches to the Nature of Thought

Jose Luis Bermudez

in Thinking without Words

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195159691
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849598 | DOI:

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Two Approaches to the Nature of Thought

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This chapter examines two theories related to the human character. It explores the differing responses to the questions of psychological explanations of the behavior of nonlinguistic creatures given by the two approaches to the nature of thought outlined earlier, and shows how neither can provide a fully satisfying account of thinking without words. They are Ferge's conception of thoughts as the senses of sentences and Fodor's language of thought hypothesis to the effect that thinking should be understood in terms of the operation of sentence-like formulae in an internal language of thought. Both approaches start off from a single basic assumption, which is that the nature of thought can best be analyzed through the nature of language, but each approach takes a very different view of the essence of language. The chapter reveals Ferge's greater interest in mathematical thoughts than in those expressible by means of a natural language.

Keywords: human character; Ferge; Fodor; language of thought hypothesis; natural language

Chapter.  11529 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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