Another argument against the thesis that there is a language of thought

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Abstract
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 in semantic relations holding among those words. This fact in its turn is a consequence of the fact that expressions are, whereas concepts are not, digital structures, for which reason the ways in which cognitive abilities interact cannot possibly bear any significant resemblance to the ways in which expressions interact. Consequently, there is no truth to the contention that our thought-processes are identical with, or bear any resemblance to, the digital computations that mediate computer-activity.
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Archival date: 2013-06-11
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2009-01-28

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