Belief, opinion and consciousness

Philosophical Psychology 3 (1):139-154 (1990)
Abstract
Abstract The paper considers two recent accounts of the difference between human and animal thought. One deflationary account, due to Daniel Dennett, insists that the only real difference lies in our ability to use words and sentences to give artificial precision and determinacy to our mental contents. The other, due to Paul Smolensky, conjectures that we at times deploy a special purpose device (the Conscious Rule Interpreter) whose task is to deal with public, symbolically coded data and commands. Both these accounts make a crucial error. They offer what is in effect an extra top?level processor to soothe our realist/classical prejudices. But in each case the extra ingredient turns out to be explanatorily hollow. Appealing to language use and language processing alone mistakes a cognitive effect for a cognitive cause. I argue instead that we need to seek a more profound architectural condition which may ground our conscious linguistic abilities but also explains a variety of deeper facts. I sketch a picture which seems to meet those needs and draw out its implications for the debates about belief and about classical Artificial Intelligence
Keywords Belief  Cognition  Mental States  Metaphysics  Dennett, D  Smolensky, P
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Daniel C. Dennett (1988). Precis of the Intentional Stance. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 9 (3):13-25.

    View all 8 references

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    9 ( #128,855 of 1,088,781 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,781 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.