Systematicity and the Cognition of Structured Domains

Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):167 - 185 (2001)
Abstract
The current debate over systematicity concerns the formal conditions a scheme of mental representation must satisfy in order to explain the systematicity of thought.1 The systematicity of thought is assumed to be a pervasive property of minds, and can be characterized (roughly) as follows: anyone who can think T can think systematic variants of T, where the systematic variants of T are found by permuting T’s constituents. So, for example, it is an alleged fact that anyone who can think the thought that John loves Mary can think the thought that Mary loves John, where the latter thought is a systematic variant of the former.
Keywords systematicity  language of thought  Fodor  connectionism
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