Synthese 170 (2):211-15 (2009)
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Jerry Fodor, by common agreement, is one of the world’s leading philosophers. At the forefront of the cognitive revolution since the 1960s, his work has determined much of the research agenda in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology for well over 40 years. This special issue dedicated to his work is intended both as a tribute to Fodor and as a contribution to the fruitful debates that his work has generated. One philosophical thesis that has dominated Fodor’s work since the 1960s is realism about the mental. Are there really mental states, events and processes? From his first book, Psychological Explanation (1968), onwards, Fodor has always answered this question with a resolute yes. From his early rejection of Wittgensteinian and behaviourist conceptions of the mind, to his later disputes with philosophers of mind of the elminativist ilk, he has always been opposed to views that try to explain away mental phenomena. On his view, there are minds, and minds can change the world.
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