Jerry A. Fodor

in LOT 2

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548774
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191721106 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter begins with the author's evaluation of his book The Language of Thought (LOT 1). It contends that the language-of-thought hypothesis endorsed in LOT 1 was not just any old hyper-realism about the mental; it was, in particular, a species of representational theory of mind. It further says that the nearest approximation to the view of cognition that LOT 1 had in mind was perhaps the sort of computationalism that was pervasive in artificial intelligence (AI). Cognitive science did not, as it turned out, develop in the way that LOT 1 thought it would. Rather, the mainstream view, not just in AI but in philosophy and cognitive psychology, is now a kind of pragmatism: what is essential to thought is not its relation to the things in the world that it represents, but its relations to the actions (the ‘behaviours’) that it guides.

Keywords: The Language of Thought; cognitive science; representational theory of mind; artificial intelligence; pragmatism

Chapter.  8731 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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