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  1. Language of Thought Hypothesis: State of the Art.Murat Aydede - manuscript
    [This is an earlier, much longer and more detailed version of my entry on LOTH in the _Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy_] The Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has (...)
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  2. Revealing the Language of Thought.Brent Silby - manuscript
    Language of thought theories fall primarily into two views. The first view sees the language of thought as an innate language known as mentalese, which is hypothesized to operate at a level below conscious awareness while at the same time operating at a higher level than the neural events in the brain. The second view supposes that the language of thought is not innate. Rather, the language of thought is natural language. So, as an English speaker, my language of thought (...)
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  3. Jenny Pelletier et Magali Roques (eds.), The Language of Thought in Late Medieval Philosophy: essays in honor of Claude Panaccio, s.l. : Springer, 2017, 463 pages. [REVIEW]Aline Medeiros Ramos - 2020 - Studia Philosophica – Revue Suisse de Philosophie 79:216-219.
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  4. Shared Modes of Presentation.Simon Prosser - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (4):465-482.
    What is it for two people to think of an object, natural kind or other entity under the same mode of presentation (MOP)? This has seemed a particularly difficult question for advocates of the Mental Files approach, the Language of Thought, or other ‘atomistic’ theories. In this paper I propose a simple answer. I first argue that, by parallel with the synchronic intrapersonal case, the sharing of a MOP should involve a certain kind of epistemic transparency between the token thoughts (...)
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  5. Attitude, Inference, Association: On the Propositional Structure of Implicit Bias.Eric Mandelbaum - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):629-658.
    The overwhelming majority of those who theorize about implicit biases posit that these biases are caused by some sort of association. However, what exactly this claim amounts to is rarely specified. In this paper, I distinguish between different understandings of association, and I argue that the crucial senses of association for elucidating implicit bias are the cognitive structure and mental process senses. A hypothesis is subsequently derived: if associations really underpin implicit biases, then implicit biases should be modulated by counterconditioning (...)
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  6. Mental Language in Aquinas?Joshua P. Hochschild - 2015 - In Gyula Klima (ed.), Intentionality, Cognition, and Mental Representation in Medieval Philosophy. New York: Fordham University. pp. 29-45.
    Ockham is usually considered the first to hold a proper theory of mental language, but Aquinas is willing to call the concept, or the act of intellect by which something is understood, a verbum mentis or “mental word.” This essay explores the sense in which Aquinas regarded concepts as language-like. It argues that Aquinas's understanding of concepts and their objects meant that his application of syntactic and semantic analysis to them did not and could not lead in the direction of (...)
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  7. Mental Maps.Ben Blumson - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):413-434.
    It's often hypothesized that the structure of mental representation is map-like rather than language-like. The possibility arises as a counterexample to the argument from the best explanation of productivity and systematicity to the language of thought hypothesis—the hypothesis that mental structure is compositional and recursive. In this paper, I argue that the analogy with maps does not undermine the argument, because maps and language have the same kind of compositional and recursive structure.
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  8. The Waning of Materialism. Edited by R. Koons and G. Bealer. (OUP 2010). [REVIEW]David Yates - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):420-422.
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  9. Embodied Social Cognition.Shannon Spaulding - 2011 - Philosophical Topics 39 (1):141-162.
    In this paper I evaluate embodied social cognition, embodied cognition’s account of how we understand others. I identify and evaluate three claims that motivate embodied social cognition. These claims are not specific to social cognition; they are general hypotheses about cognition. As such, they may be used in more general arguments for embodied cognition. I argue that we have good reasons to reject these claims. Thus, the case for embodied social cognition fails. Moreover, to the extent that general arguments for (...)
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  10. The Language of Thought Hypothesis.Murat Aydede - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A comprehensive introduction to the Language of Though Hypothesis (LOTH) accessible to general audiences. LOTH is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has a syntactic (constituent) structure with an appropriate semantics. Thinking thus consists in (...)
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  11. LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited. [REVIEW]Robert D. Rupert - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):559-562.
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  12. "LOT2" by Jerry A. Fodor. [REVIEW]Tim Crane - 2009 - The Times Literary Supplement 1.
    In G.K. Chesterton’s The Man who was Thursday, six of the seven anarchists named after different days of the week turn out to be secret policemen. Chesterton’s hero Syme finds himself opposed to not just a disparate group of anarchists, but to the unified forces of authority. A similar thing seems to have happened in recent years to Jerry Fodor. When Fodor published The Language of Thought in 1975 his targets were, as he says, ‘a mixed bag’: reductionists, behaviourists, empiricists, (...)
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  13. Frege’s Puzzle and Frege Cases: Defending a Quasi-Syntactic Solution.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Cognitive Systems Research 9:76-91.
    There is no doubt that social interaction plays an important role in language-learning, as well as in concept acquisition. In surprising contrast, social interaction makes only passing appearance in our most promising naturalistic theories of content. This is particularly true in the case of mental content (e.g., Cummins, 1996; Dretske, 1981, 1988; Fodor, 1987, 1990a; Millikan, 1984); and insofar as linguistic content derives from mental content (Grice, 1957), social interaction seems missing from our best naturalistic theories of both.1 In this (...)
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  14. Thought, Language, and the Argument From Explicitness.Agustín Vicente & Fernando Martínez-Manrique - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (3):381–401.
    This article deals with the relationship between language and thought, focusing on the question of whether language can be a vehicle of thought, as, for example, Peter Carruthers has claimed. We develop and examine a powerful argument—the "argument from explicitness"—against this cognitive role of language. The premises of the argument are just two: (1) the vehicle of thought has to be explicit, and (2) natural languages are not explicit. We explain what these simple premises mean and why we should believe (...)
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  15. Computation and Functionalism: Syntactic Theory of Mind Revisited.Murat Aydede - 2005 - In Gurol Irzik & Guven Guzeldere (eds.), Boston Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Springer.
    I argue that Stich's Syntactic Theory of Mind (STM) and a naturalistic narrow content functionalism run on a Language of Though story have the same exact structure. I elaborate on the argument that narrow content functionalism is either irremediably holistic in a rather destructive sense, or else doesn't have the resources for individuating contents interpersonally. So I show that, contrary to his own advertisement, Stich's STM has exactly the same problems (like holism, vagueness, observer-relativity, etc.) that he claims plague content-based (...)
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  16. Another Argument Against the Thesis That There is a Language of Thought.John-Michael M. Kuczynski - 2004 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 37 (2):83-103.
    One cannot have the concept of a red object without having the concept of an extended object. But the word "red" doesn't contain the word "extended." In general, our concepts are interconnected in ways in which the corresponding words are not interconnected. This is not an accidental fact about the English language or about any other language: it is inherent in what a language is that the cognitive abilities corresponding to a person's abilities to use words cannot possibly be reflected (...)
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  17. Does the Idea of a "Language of Thought" Make Sense?John-Michael Kuczynski - 2002 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 35 (4):173-192.
    Sense-perceptions do not have to be deciphered if their contents are to be uploaded, the reason being that they are presentations, not representations. Linguistic expressions do have to be deciphered if their contents are to be uploaded, the reason being that they are representations, not presentations. It is viciously regressive to suppose that information-bearing mental entities are categorically in the nature of representations, as opposed to presentations, and it is therefore incoherent to suppose that thought is mediated by expressions or, (...)
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  18. The Fodorian Fallacy.François Recanati - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):285-89.
    In recent years Fodor has repeatedly argued that nothing epistemic can be essential to, or constitutive of, any concept. This holds in virtue of a constraint which Fodor dubs the Compositionality Constraint. I show that Fodor's argument is fallacious because it rests on an ambiguity.
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  19. Language of Thought: The Connectionist Contribution.Murat Aydede - 1997 - Minds and Machines 7 (1):57-101.
    Fodor and Pylyshyn's critique of connectionism has posed a challenge to connectionists: Adequately explain such nomological regularities as systematicity and productivity without postulating a "language of thought" (LOT). Some connectionists like Smolensky took the challenge very seriously, and attempted to meet it by developing models that were supposed to be non-classical. At the core of these attempts lies the claim that connectionist models can provide a representational system with a combinatorial syntax and processes sensitive to syntactic structure. They are not (...)
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  20. Best Test Theory of Extension.Robert D. Rupert - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
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  21. From “Thought and Language” to “Thinking for Speaking”.Dan I. Slobin - 1996 - In J. Gumperz & S. Levinson (eds.), Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 70--96.
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  22. Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences: Proceedings of the 16th International Wittgenstein Symposium (Kirchberg Am Wechsel, Austria 1993).Roberto Casati & Barry Smith (eds.) - 1994 - Vienna: Wien: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky.
    Online collection of papers by Devitt, Dretske, Guarino, Hochberg, Jackson, Petitot, Searle, Tye, Varzi and other leading thinkers on philosophy and the foundations of cognitive Science. Topics dealt with include: Wittgenstein and Cognitive Science, Content and Object, Logic and Foundations, Language and Linguistics, and Ontology and Mereology.
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  23. Mental Causation and Mental Reality.Tim Crane - 1992 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 92:185-202.
    The Problems of Mental Causation. Functionalism in the philosophy of mind identifies mental states with their dispositional connections with other mental states, perceptions and actions. Many theories of the mind have sailed under the Functionalist flag. But what I take to be essential to Functionalism is that mental states are individuated causally: the reality of mental states depends essentially on their causal efficacy.
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  24. The Language of Thought: No Syntax Without Semantics.Tim Crane - 1990 - Mind and Language 5 (3):187-213.
    Many philosophers think that being in an intentional state is a matter of being related to a sentence in a mental language-a 'Language of Thought' (see especially Fodor 1975, 1987 Appendix; Field 1978). According to this view-which I shall call 'the LT hypothesis'-when anyone has a belief or a desire or a hope with a certain content, they have a sentence of this language, with that content, 'written' in their heads. The claim is meant quite literally: the mental representations that (...)
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  25. The Central System as a Computational Engine.Susan Schneider - unknown
    The Language of Thought program has a suicidal edge. Jerry Fodor, of all people, has argued that although LOT will likely succeed in explaining modular processes, it will fail to explain the central system, a subsystem in the brain in which information from the different sense modalities is integrated, conscious deliberation occurs, and behavior is planned. A fundamental characteristic of the central system is that it is “informationally unencapsulated” -- its operations can draw from information from any cognitive domain. The (...)
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