David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Metaphilosophy 39 (3):381–401 (2008)
This article deals with the relationship between language and thought, focusing on the question of whether language can be a vehicle of thought, as, for example, Peter Carruthers has claimed. We develop and examine a powerful argument—the "argument from explicitness"—against this cognitive role of language. The premises of the argument are just two: (1) the vehicle of thought has to be explicit, and (2) natural languages are not explicit. We explain what these simple premises mean and why we should believe they are true. Finally, we argue that even though the argument from explicitness shows that natural language cannot be a vehicle of thought, there is a cognitive function for language.
|Keywords||compositionality introspection underdeterminacy explicitness natural language|
|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
Agustín Vicente (2010). Clusters: On the Structure of Lexical Concepts. Dialectica 64 (1):79-106.
Similar books and articles
Peter Carruthers (1996). Language, Thought, and Consciousness. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Carruthers (1998). Conscious Thinking: Language or Elimination? Mind and Language 13 (4):457-476.
Christopher D. Viger (2005). Learning to Think: A Response to the Language of Thought Argument for Innateness. Mind and Language 20 (3):313-25.
Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis (1999). Where the Regress Argument Still Goes Wrong: Reply to Knowles. Analysis 59 (264):321-327.
Martin Davies (1998). Language, Thought, and the Language of Thought (Aunty's Own Argument Revisited). In P. Carruthers & J. Boucher (eds.), Language and Thought. Cambridge University Press. 226.
Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis (1997). Regress Arguments Against the Language of Thought. Analysis 57 (1):60-66.
Martin Davies (1991). Concepts, Connectionism, and the Language of Thought. In W Ramsey, Stephen P. Stich & D. Rumelhart (eds.), Philosophy and Connectionist Theory. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 485-503.
Agustín Vicente & Fernando MartínezManrique (2005). Semantic Underdetermination and the Cognitive Uses of Language. Mind and Language 20 (5):537–558.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads122 ( #10,365 of 1,679,360 )
Recent downloads (6 months)16 ( #14,431 of 1,679,360 )
How can I increase my downloads?