The language of thought hypothesis

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010)
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Abstract

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 syntactic operations defined over representations. Most of the arguments for LOTH derive their strength from their ability to explain certain empirical phenomena like productivity, systematicity of thought and thinking

Author's Profile

Murat Aydede
University of British Columbia

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