David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), John Searle's Philosophy of Language: Force, Meaning, and Mind. Cambridge University Press. 125 (2007)
It is obvious that there are kinds of cognition -- mental problem solving -- that do not require spoken language. But it should not be obvious that peculiarly conceptual thought is independent of spoken language. This paper is a critical survey of arguments concluding that conceptual thought must be independent of language. The special emphasis is on arguments that John Searle has put forward, but others are considered as well. These include the claim that only the intentionality of thought is "intrinsic", arguments from the nature of speech acts, appeals to the fact that animals and babies think, and the computational theory of mind (this last not being one of Searle's arguments). Finally, there is an argument from a certain conception of linguistic communication.
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