David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):3-20 (2009)
Methodological questions concerning Chomsky’s generative approach to linguistics have been debated without consensus. The status of linguistics as psychology, the psychological reality of grammars, the character of tacit knowledge and the role of intuitions as data remain heatedly disputed today. I argue that the recalcitrance of these disputes is symptomatic of deep misunderstandings. I focus attention on Michael Devitt’s recent extended critique of Chomskyan linguistics and I suggest that his complaints are based on a failure to appreciate the special status of Chomsky’s computational formalisms found elsewhere in cognitive science. Devitt ascribes an intentional conception of representations that Chomsky repudiates and that is independently implausible. I argue that Devitt’s proposed “linguistic reality” as the proper subject matter of linguistics neglects the problems of tokens as opposed to types and he misses the force of Chomsky’s arguments against Behaviourism and nominalism. I suggest that Devitt’s case against intuitions as data misunderstands their standard role throughout perceptual psychology. Finally, of more general interest, I argue that Devitt’s position exemplifies compelling errors concerning mental representation seen throughout cognitive science and philosophy of mind
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Devitt (2010). What "Intuitions" Are Linguistic Evidence? Erkenntnis 73 (2):251 - 264.
M. J. Cain (2010). Linguistics, Psychology and the Scientific Study of Language. Dialectica 64 (3):385-404.
Similar books and articles
Guy Longworth (2009). Ignorance of Linguistics. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):21-34.
Gergo Somodi (2009). Ignorance Radicalized. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2):140-156.
Guy Longworth (2009). Ignorance of Linguistics: A Note on Devitt's Ignorance of Language. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1):21-34.
Michael Devitt (2009). Psychological Conception, Psychological Reality. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):35-44.
John Collins (2006). Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):469-503.
Barry C. Smith (2006). Why We Still Need Knowledge of Language. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (18):431-457.
Michael Devitt (2006). Ignorance of Language. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Mark Textor (2009). Devitt on the Epistemic Authority of Linguistic Intuitions. Erkenntnis 71 (3):395 - 405.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads46 ( #41,817 of 1,413,361 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #94,237 of 1,413,361 )
How can I increase my downloads?