Abstract A two non-linear dynamic models, first one in two state variables and one control and the second one with three state variables and one control, are presented for the purpose of finding the optimal combination of exploitation, capital investment and price variation in the commercial fishing industry. This optimal combination is determined in terms of management policies. Exploitation, capital and price variation are controlled through the utilization rate of available capital. A novel feature in this model is that the (...) variation of the capital depends on the income. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-15 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9152-6 Authors Chakib Jerry, Département de Mathématiques, Faculté des Sciences, Equipe d’ingénieurie mathématiques EIMA, Université Ibn Tofail, B.P. 133, Kenitra, Morocco Nadia Raissi, Département de Mathématiques, Faculté des Sciences, Université Mohamed V-Rabat AGDAL, Rabat, Morocco Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (shrink)
I will say something on two or three related but distinct topics. First, something on the grounding of normative beliefs, a topic – as I see it – in moral epistemology, and then after a brief remark on explanation, something against a certain understanding of basic principles. My observations were prompted by reflection on Jerry’s desire to rescue justice from the facts.
Fodor's thinking on modularity has been influential throughout a range of the areas studying cognition, chiefly as a prod for positive work on modularity and domain-specificity. In The Mind Doesn't Work That Way, Fodor has developed the dark message of The Modularity of Mind regarding the limits to modularity and computational analyses. This paper offers a critical assessment of Fodor's scepticism with an eye to highlighting some broader issues in play, including the nature of computation and the role of recent (...) empirical developments in the cognitive sciences in assessing Fodor's position. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor is one of the leading philosophers of mind and language in the world today. He is best known for his work developing two theses which give theirnames to his books The Modularity of Mind and The Language of Thought. He teaches philosophy at Rutgers and at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Proponents of non-conceptual content have recruited it for various philosophical jobs. Some epistemologists have suggested that it may play the role of “the given” that Sellars is supposed to have exorcised from philosophy. Some philosophers of mind (e.g., Dretske) have suggested that it plays an important role in the project of naturalizing semantics as a kind of halfway between merely information bearing and possessing conceptual content. Here I will focus on a recent proposal by Jerry Fodor. In a recent (...) paper he characterizes non-conceptual content in a particular way and argues that it is plausible that it plays an explanatory role in accounting for certain auditory and visual phenomena. So he thinks that there is reason to believe that there is non-conceptual content. On the other hand, Fodor thinks that non-conceptual content has a limited role. It occurs only in the very early stages of perceptual processing prior to conscious awareness. My paper is examines Fodor’s characterization of non-conceptual content and his claims for its explanatory importance. I also discuss if Fodor has made a case for limiting non-conceptual content to non-conscious, sub-personal mental states. (shrink)
In Chapter Five of The Mind Doesn’t Work That Way, Jerry Fodor argues that since it is likely that human minds evolved quickly as saltations rather than gradually as the product of an accumulation of small mutations, evolutionary psychologists are wrong to think that human minds are adaptations. I argue that Fodor’s requirement that adaptationism entails gradualism is wrongheaded. So, while evolutionary psychologists may be wrong to endorse gradualism—and I argue that they are wrong—it does not follow that they (...) are wrong to endorse an adaptationist explanation for how the human mind evolved. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor, LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited , New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, x+228, $37.95, ISBN 978-0-119-954877-4 Content Type Journal Article Pages 439-443 DOI 10.1007/s11023-009-9164-4 Authors David Cole, University of Minnesota-Duluth Department of Philosophy 369 A B Anderson Hall Duluth MN 55812 USA Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495 Journal Volume Volume 19 Journal Issue Volume 19, Number 3.
Jerry Fodor is one of the principal philosophers of mind of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. In addition to having exerted an enormous influence on virtually every portion of the philosophy of mind literature since 1960, Fodor’s work has had a significant impact on the development of the cognitive sciences. In the 1960s, along with Hilary Putnam, Noam Chomsky, and others, he put forward influential criticisms of the behaviorism that dominated much philosophy and psychology at the time. (...) Since then, Fodor has articulated and defended an alternative, realist conception of intentional states and their content that he argues vindicates the core elements of folk psychology within a physicalist framework. (shrink)
The "New Synthesis" in cognitive science is committed to the computational theory of mind (CTM), massive modularity, nativism, and adaptationism. In The mind doesn't work that way , Jerry Fodor argues that CTM has problems explaining abductive or global inference, but that the New Synthesis offers no solution, since massive modularity is in fact incompatible with global cognitive processes. I argue that it is not clear how global human mentation is, so whether CTM is imperiled is an open question. (...) Massive modularity also lacks some of the invidious commitments Fodor ascribes to it. Furthermore, Fodor's anti-adaptationist arguments are in tension with his nativism about the contents of modular systems. The New Synthesis thus has points worth preserving. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor's Asymmetric Dependency Theory (ADT) of meaning is discussed in the context of his attempt to avoid holism and the relativism it entails. Questions are raised about the implications of the theory for psychological theories of meaning, and brief suggestions are offered for how to more closely link a theory of meaning to a theory of perception.
[p. 45] I wish to represent a certain subclass of nonconventional implicatures, which I shall call CONVERSATIONAL implicatures, as being essentially connected with certain general features of discourse; so my next step is to try to say what these features are. The following may provide a first approximation to a general principle. Our talk exchanges do not normally consist of a succession of disconnected remarks, and would not be rational if they did. They are characteristically, to some degree at least, (...) cooperative efforts; and each participant recognizes in them, to some extent, a common purpose or set of purposes, or at least a mutually accepted direction. This purpose or direction may be fixed from the start (e.g., by an initial proposal of a question for discussion), or it may evolve during the exchange; it may be fairly definite, or it may be so indefinite as to leave very considerable latitude to the participants (as in a casual conversation). But at each stage, SOME possible conversational moves would be excluded as conversationally unsuitable. We might then formulate a rough general principle which participants will be expected (ceteris paribus) to observe, namely: Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged. One might label this the COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLE. On the assumption that some such general principle as this is acceptable, one may perhaps distinguish four categories under one or another of which will fall certain more specific maxims and submaxims, the following of which will, in general, yield results in accordance with the Cooperative Principle. Echoing Kant, I call these categories Quantity, Quality, Relation, and Manner. The category of QUANTITY relates to the quantity of information to be provided, and under it fall the following maxims. (shrink)
The doctrine that the character of our perceptual knowledge is plastic, and can vary substantially with the theories embraced by the perceiver, has been criticized in a recent paper by Fodor. His arguments are based on certain experimental facts and theoretical approaches in cognitive psychology. My aim in this paper is threefold: (1) to show that Fodor's views on the impenetrability of perceptual processing do not secure a theory-neutral foundation for knowledge; (2) to show that his views on impenetrability are (...) almost certainly false; and (3) to provide some additional arguments for, and illustrations of, the theoretical character of all observation judgments. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor argues that the massive modularity thesis – the claim that (human) cognition is wholly served by domain specific, autonomous computational devices, i.e., modules – is a priori incoherent, self-defeating. The thesis suffers from what Fodor dubs the input problem: the function of a given module (proprietarily understood) in a wholly modular system presupposes non-modular processes. It will be argued that massive modularity suffers from no such a priori problem. Fodor, however, also offers what he describes as a (...) really real input problem (i.e., an empirical one). It will be suggested that this problem is real enough, but it does not selectively strike down massive modularity – it is a problem for everyone. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor's argument for an innate language of thought continues to be a hurdle for researchers arguing that natural languages provide us with richer conceptual systems than our innate cognitive resources. I argue that because the logical/formal terms of natural languages are given a usetheory of meaning, unlike predicates, logical/formal terms might be learned without a mediating internal representation. In that case, our innate representational system might have less logical structure than a natural language, making it possible that we (...) augment our innate representational system and improve our ability to think by learning a natural language. (shrink)
The Mind Doesn’t Work That Way is an expose of certain theoretical problems in cognitive science, and in particular, problems that concern the Classical Computational Theory of Mind (CTM). The problems that Fodor worries plague CTM divide into two kinds, and both purport to show that the success of cognitive science will likely be limited to the modules. The first sort of problem concerns what Fodor has called “global properties”; features that a mental sentence has which depend on how the (...) sentence interacts with a larger plan (i.e., set of sentences), rather than the type identity of the sentence alone. The second problem concerns what many have called, “The Relevance Problem”: the problem of whether and how humans determine what is relevant in a computational manner. However, I argue that the problem that Fodor believes global properties pose for CTM is a non-problem, and that further, while the relevance problem is a serious research issue, it does not justify the grim view that cognitive science, and CTM in particular, will likely fail to explain cognition. (shrink)
Fodor's thinking on modularity has been influential throughout a range of the areas studying cognition, chiefly as a prod for positive work on modularity and domain-specificity. In _The Mind Doesn't Work That Way_, Fodor has developed the dark message of _The Modularity of Mind_ regarding the limits to modularity and computational analyses. This paper offers a critical assessment of Fodor's scepticism with an eye to highlighting some broader issues in play, including the nature of computation and the role of recent (...) empirical developments in the cognitive sciences in assessing Fodor's position. (shrink)
Jerome Neu has been one of the most prominent voices in the philosophy of emotions for more than twenty years, that is, before the field was even a field. His Emotions, Thought, and Therapy (1977) was one of its most original and ground-breaking books. Neu is an uncompromising defender of what has been called the cognitive theory of emotions (as am I). But the ambiguity, controversy, and confusions own by the notion of a cognitive theory of emotion is what I (...) would like to focus on here. In so doing I will indicate some of the way sin which my own theory has developed. (shrink)
In his book Why Not Socialism? , G.A. Cohen described several kinds of inequality that would be acceptable under socialism, yet nonetheless harmful to community. I describe another kind of inequality with this property, deriving from the legitimate transmission of preferences and values from parents to children. In the same book, Cohen proposes that the designing of a socialist allocation mechanism is a key problem for socialist theory. I maintain this is less of a problem than he believes. Finally, some (...) thoughts on the “law of motion of socialist ethos ” are offered. (shrink)
In this paper, I present an alternative argument for Jerry Fodor's recent conclusion that there are currently no tenable theories of concepts in the cognitive sciences and in the philosophy of mind. Briefly, my approach focuses on the 'theory-theory' of concepts. I argue that the two ways in which cognitive psychologists have formulated this theory lead to serious difficulties, and that there cannot be, in principle, a third way in which it can be reformulated. Insofar as the 'theory-theory' is (...) supposed to replace, and to rectify the problems of, the earlier 'classical' and 'probabilistic' theories, its failure confirms Fodor's original observation. Since my critique does not rest on controversial philosophical assumptions and is readily available from within the cognitive sciences, it is a stronger argument than Fodor's. (shrink)
The acquisition of concepts has proven especially difficult for philosophers and psychologists to explain. In this paper, I examine Jerry Fodor’s most recent attempt to explain the acquisition of concepts relative to experiences of their referents. In reevaluating his earlier position, Fodor attempts to co-opt informational semantics into an account of concept acquisition that avoids the radical nativism of his earlier views. I argue that Fodor’s attempts ultimately fail to be persuasive. He must either accept his earlier nativism or (...) adopt a rational causal model of concept acquisition. His animus towards the latter dictates, in my view, a return to the nativism with which he began. (shrink)
This review sketches Fodor's critique of evolutionary psychology and the 'massive modularity' thesis; queries his views on abduction in central processes; and suggests that his pessimism about the scope of computational psychology undermines his realism about folk psychology.
The arguments that Fodor (1987: 150-52) gives in support of a Language of Thought are apparently straightforward. (1) Linguistic capacities are "systematic", in the sense that if one understands the words 'John loves Mary' one also understands the form of words 'Mary loves John'. In other words, sentences have a combinatorial semantics, because they have constituent structure. (2) If cognitive capacities are systematic in the same way, they must have constituent structure also. Thus there is a Language of Thought. The (...) essential connection between language and thought that the argument requires is: Since the function of language is to express thought, to understand a sentence is to grasp the thought that its utterance standardly conveys. So from the systematicity of sentences it follows that anyone who can grasp the thought that John loves Mary can grasp the thought that Mary loves John. Thought must be as systematic as language, for the best empirical explanation of the psychological fact that one who grasps the thought that John loves Mary can grasp the thought that Mary loves John is that grasping a thought is standing in some thinking relation to a complex entity whose constituents are MARY, X LOVES Y, and JOHN and semantic relations among MARY, X LOVES Y, and JOHN. So sayeth Fodor (1987). (shrink)
Objections to AI and computational cognitive science are myriad. Accordingly, there are many different reasons for these attacks. But all of them come down to one simple observation: humans seem a lot smarter that computers -- not just smarter as in Einstein was smarter than I, or I am smarter than a chimpanzee, but more like I am smarter than a pencil sharpener. To many, computation seems like the wrong paradigm for studying the mind. (Actually, I think there are deeper (...) and darker reasons why AI, especially, is so often the brunt of polemics, see Dietrich, 2000.) But the truth is this: AI is making exciting progress, and will one day make a robot as intelligent as a person; indeed the robot will be conscious. And all this is because of another truth: the computational paradigm is the best thing to come down the pike since the wheel. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor is one of the most important philosophers of mind in recent decades. He has done much to set the agenda in this field and has had a significant influence on the development of cognitive science. Fodor's project is that of constructing a physicalist vindication of folk psychology and so paving the way for the development of a scientifically respectable intentional psychology. The centrepiece of his engagement in this project is a theory of the cognitive mind, namely, the (...) computational theory of mind, which postulates the existence of a language of thought. Fodor: Language, Mind and Philosophy is a comprehensive study of Fodor's writings. Individual chapters are devoted to each of the major issues raised by his work and contain extensive discussion of his relationships to key developments in cognitive science and to the views of such philosophical luminaries as Dennett, Davidson and Searle. (shrink)
Robert Cummins has argued that Jerry Fodor’s well-known systematicity argument begs the question. I show that the systematicity argument for thought structure does not beg the question, nor run in either explanatory nor inferential circles, nor illegitimately project sentence structure onto thoughts. Because the evidence does not presuppose that thought has structure, connectionist explanations of the same interconnections between thoughts are at least possibilities. Butthey are likely to be ad hoc.
During my campaign for president in 1992, I experienced for the first time the full weight of the money-media system of control. Having been so much a part of that system, I had not fully grasped the radical dominance of politics by the top one percent and the complicit role of the media. All this became clear once I swore off donations above $100 and refused to attend the sacred rite of endless political fund raising with the wealthy. This made (...) the media turn aside, for they knew I was not a "serious" candidate committed to the proposition: Money buys media, media buys credibility. (shrink)
There is only one physically possible process that builds and operates purposive systems in nature: natural selection. What it does is build and operate systems that look to us purposive, goal directed, teleological. There really are not any purposes in nature and no purposive processes ether. It is just one vast network of linked causal chains. Darwinian natural selection is the only process that could produce the appearance of purpose. That is why natural selection must have built and must continually (...) shape the intentional causes of purposive behavior. Fodor’s argument against Darwinian theory involves a biologist’s modus tollens which is a cognitive scientist’s modus ponens. Assuming his argument is valid, the right conclusion is not that Darwin’s theory is mistaken but that Fodor’s and any other non-Darwinian approaches to the mind are wrong. It shows how getting things wrong in the philosophy of biology leads to mistaken conclusions with the potential to damage the acceptance of a theory with harmful consequences for human well-being. Fodor has shown that the real consequence of rejecting a Darwinian approach to the mind is to reject a Darwinian theory of phylogenetic evolution. This forces us to take seriously a notion that otherwise would not have much of a chance: that when it comes to the nature of mental states, indeterminacy rules. This is an insight that should have the most beneficial impact on freeing cognitive neuroscience from demands on the adequacy of its theories that it could never meet. (shrink)
When Fodor titled his (1983) book the _Modularity of Mind_, he overstated his position. His actual view is that the mind divides into systems some of which are modular and others of which are not. The book would have been more aptly, if less provocatively, called _The Modularity of Low-Level Peripheral Systems_. High-level perception and cognitive systems are non-modular on Fodor’s theory. In recent years, modularity has found more zealous defenders, who claim that the entire mind divides into highly specialized (...) modules. This view has been especially popular among Evolutionary Psychologists. They claim that the mind is massively modular (Cosmides and Tooby, 1994; Sperber, 1994; Pinker, 1997; see also Samuels, 1998). Like a Swiss Army Knife, the mind is an assembly of specialized tools, each of which has been designed for some particular purpose. My goal here is to raise doubts about both peripheral modularity and massive modularity. To do that, I will rely on the criteria for modularity laid out by Fodor (1983). I will argue that neither input systems, nor central systems are modular on any of these criteria. (shrink)
The renowned philosopher Jerry Fodor, a leading figure in the study of the mind for more than twenty years, presents a strikingly original theory on the basic constituents of thought. He suggests that the heart of cognitive science is its theory of concepts, and that cognitive scientists have gone badly wrong in many areas because their assumptions about concepts have been mistaken. Fodor argues compellingly for an atomistic theory of concepts, deals out witty and pugnacious demolitions of rival theories, (...) and suggests that future work on human cognition should build upon new foundations. This lively, conversational, and superbly accessible book is the first volume in the Oxford Cognitive Science Series, where the best original work in this field will be presented to a broad readership. Concepts will fascinate anyone interested in contemporary work on mind and language. Cognitive science will never be the same again. (shrink)
Hume? Yes, David Hume, that's who Jerry Fodor looks to for help in advancing our understanding of the mind. Fodor claims his Treatise of Human Nature as the foundational document of cognitive science: it launched the project of constructing an empirical psychology on the basis of a representational theory of mind. Going back to this work after more than 250 years we find that Hume is remarkably perceptive about the components and structure that a theory of mind requires. Careful (...) study of the Treatise helps us to see what is amiss with much twentieth-century philosophy of mind, and to get on the right track. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor presents a new development of his famous Language of Thought hypothesis, which has since the 1970s been at the centre of interdisciplinary debate about how the mind works. Fodor defends and extends the groundbreaking idea that thinking is couched in a symbolic system realized in the brain. This idea is central to the representational theory of mind which Fodor has established as a key reference point in modern philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science. The foundation stone of our (...) present cognitive science is Turing's suggestion that cognitive processes are not associations but computations; and computation requires a language of thought. So the latest on the Language of Thought hypothesis, from its progenitor, promises to be a landmark in the study of the mind. LOT 2 offers a more cogent presentation and a fuller explication of Fodor's distinctive account of the mind, with various intriguing new features. The central role of compositionality in the representational theory of mind is revealed: most of what we know about concepts follows from the compositionality of thoughts. Fodor shows the necessity of a referentialist account of the content of intentional states, and of an atomistic account of the individuation of concepts. Not least among the new developments is Fodor's identification and persecution of pragmatism as the leading source of error in the study of the mind today. LOT 2 sees Fodor advance undaunted towards the ultimate goal of a theory of the cognitive mind, and in particular a theory of the intentionality of cognition. No one who works on the mind can ignore Fodor's views, expressed in the coruscating and provocative style which has delighted and disconcerted countless readers over the years. (shrink)
Currently, there is widespread skepticism that higher cognitive processes, given their apparent flexibility and globality, could be carried out by specialized computational devices, or modules. This skepticism is largely due to Fodor’s influential definition of modularity. From the rather flexible catalogue of possible modular features that Fodor originally proposed has emerged a widely held notion of modules as rigid, informationally encapsulated devices that accept highly local inputs and whose opera- tions are insensitive to context. It is a mistake, however, to (...) equate such features with computational devices in general and therefore to assume, as Fodor does, that higher cognitive processes must be non-computational. Of the many possible non-Fodorean architectures, one is explored here that offers possible solutions to computational problems faced by conventional modular systems: an ‘enzymatic’ architecture. Enzymes are computational devices that use lock-and-key template matching to iden- tify relevant information (substrates), which is then operated upon and returned to a common pool for possible processing by other devices. Highly specialized enzymes can operate together in a common pool of information that is not pre-sorted by information type. Moreover, enzymes can use molecular ‘tags’ to regulate the operations of other devices and to change how particular substrates are construed and operated upon, allowing for highly interactive, context-specific processing. This model shows how specialized, modular processing can occur in an open system, and suggests that skepti- cism about modularity may largely be due to failure to consider alternatives to the standard model. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the problem of animals' beliefs and the ontology associated with the idea of having non propositional content. It is argue that the beliefs of mute animals mainly serve an explanatory purpose.
Fodor argues that our minds must have epistemic limitations because there must be endogenous constraints on the class of concepts we can acquire. However, his argument for the existence of these endogenous constraints is falsified by the phenomenon of the deferential acquisition of concepts. If we allow for the acquisition of concepts through deferring to experts and scientific instruments, then our conceptual capacity will be without endogenous constraints, and there will be no reason to think that our minds are epistemically (...) bounded. (shrink)
I propose a version of inferential role theory which says that having a concept is having the disposition to draw most of the inferences based on the stereotypical features associated with this concept. I defend this view against Fodor and Lepore.
I propose a semi-eliminative reduction of Fodors concept of module to the concept of attractor basin which is used in Cognitive Dynamic Systems Theory (DST). I show how attractor basins perform the same explanatory function as modules in several DST based research program. Attractor basins in some organic dynamic systems have even been able to perform cognitive functions which are equivalent to the If/Then/Else loop in the computer language LISP. I suggest directions for future research programs which could find similar (...) equivalencies between organic dynamic systems and other cognitive functions. This type of research could help us discover how (and/or if) it is possible to use Dynamic Systems Theory to more accurately model the cognitive functions that are now being modeled by subroutines in Symbolic AI computer models. If such a reduction of subroutines to basins of attraction is possible, it could free AI from the limitations that prompted Fodor to say that it was impossible to model certain higher level cognitive functions. (shrink)
This paper explores the difference between Connectionist proposals for cognitive a r c h i t e c t u r e a n d t h e s o r t s o f m o d e l s t hat have traditionally been assum e d i n c o g n i t i v e s c i e n c e . W e c l a i m t h a t t h (...) e m a j o r d i s t i n c t i o n i s t h a t , w h i l e b o t h Connectionist and Classical architectures postulate representational mental states, the latter but not the former are committed to a symbol-level of representation, or to a ‘language of thought’: i.e., to representational states that have combinatorial syntactic and semantic structure. Several arguments for combinatorial structure in mental representations are then reviewed. These include arguments based on the ‘systematicity’ of mental representation: i.e., on the fact that cognitive capacities always exhibit certain symmetries, so that the ability to entertain a given thought implies the ability to entertain thoughts with semantically related contents. We claim that such arguments make a powerful case that mind/brain architecture is not Connectionist at the cognitive level. We then consider the possibility that Connectionism may provide an account of the neural (or ‘abstract neurological’) structures in which Classical cognitive architecture is implemented. We survey a n u m b e r o f t h e s t a n d a r d a r g u m e n t s t h a t h a v e b e e n o f f e r e d i n f a v o r o f Connectionism, and conclude that they are coherent only on this interpretation. (shrink)