David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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References found in this work BETA
Jerry A. Fodor (1998). Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong. Oxford University Press.
Steven Pinker (1995). The Language Instinct. Harper Perennial.
Herman Cappelen (2005). Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. Blackwell Pub..
François Recanati (2004). Literal Meaning. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Agustín Vicente (2010). Clusters: On the Structure of Lexical Concepts. Dialectica 64 (1):79-106.
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