Narrow syntax and the language of thought

Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):1-23 (2013)
A traditional view maintains that thought, while expressed in language, is non-linguistic in nature and occurs in non-linguistic beings as well. I assess this view against current theories of the evolutionary design of human grammar. I argue that even if some forms of human thought are shared with non-human animals, a residue remains that characterizes a unique way in which human thought is organized as a system. I explore the hypothesis that the cause of this difference is a grammatical way of structuring semantic information, and I present evidence that the organization of grammar precisely reflects the organization of a specific mode of thought apparently distinctive of humans. Since there appears to be no known non-grammatical structuring principle for the relevant mode of thought, I suggest that grammar is that principle, with no independent ?Language of Thought? needed
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2011.627537
 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: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Gennaro Chierchia (1998). Reference to Kinds Across Language. Natural Language Semantics 6 (4):339-405.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Christopher Gauker, Language and Thought. A Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

67 ( #50,874 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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