Where the regress argument still goes wrong: Reply to Knowles

Analysis 59 (4):321-327 (1999)
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Many philosophers reject the Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOT) on the grounds that is leads to an explanatory regress problem. According to this line of argument, LOT is invoked to explain certain features of natural language, but the language of thought has the very same features and consequently no explanatory progress has been made. In an earlier paper (“Regress Arguments against the Language of Thought”, Analysis 57.1), we argued that this regress argument doesn’t work and that even proponents of LOT have given the regress argument too much credit. In this paper, we extend our critique of the regress argument against LOT by responding to J. Knowles’s commentary of our earlier paper (in “The Language of Thought and Natural Language Understanding”, Analysis 58.4).

Author Profiles

Eric Margolis
University of British Columbia
Stephen Laurence
University of Sheffield


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