Where the regress argument still goes wrong: Reply to Knowles

Analysis 59 (264):321-327 (1999)
Abstract
The Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOT) is at the centre of a number of the most fundamental debates about the mind. Yet many philosophers want to reject LOT out of hand on the grounds that it is essentially a recid- ivistic doctrine, one that has long since been refuted. According to these philosophers, LOT is subject to a devastating regress argument. There are several versions of the argument, but the basic idea is as follows. (1) Natu- ral language has some important feature, X.<sup>1</sup> (2) Defenders of LOT appeal to an internal system of representation in order to explain this feature of natural language. (3) Yet the hypothesized language of thought also has X. (4) This raises the following dilemma: If we offer an analogous explanation of the language of thought
Keywords language of thought  representational theory of mind
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