This essay presents a theoretical construct upon which to base a working - "pragmatic" - definition of the History of Present Illness (HPI). The major thesis of this essay is that analysis of both the logic of hypothesis formation and literary narrative - especially detective stories - facilitates understanding of the diagnostic process. The essay examines three elements necessary to a successful development of a patient's HPI: the logic of hypothesis formation, based upon the work of the philosopher-logician, Charles Sanders (...) Peirce; the organization of knowledge in relation to structures of narrative; and the feedback necessary to the successful physician-interviewer. It concludes with a systematic description of the design of hypothesis formation within diagnoses. (shrink)
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)
In this article, I address the question of whether or not the use of instant replay in sports improves the ability of officials to make correct calls. I pay special attention to the use of instant reply in American gridiron football. I first explain the method of static phenomenology, by recourse to Edmund Husserl's work and apply a static phenomenological method to the official's quest for evidence in the analysis of a still frame of video. Second, I expose Husserl's genetic (...) method of phenomenology and apply it to the official's search for evidence and accuracy when assessing a play in a frame-by-frame or super-slow-motion analysis. I then look critically at the intersection of these two methods in instant replay analysis. My conclusion is that in cases calling only for a static analysis, I think that instant replay is beneficial. In other cases, the application of a static, frame-by-frame analysis, abstracted from lived experience, to a context of movement, can disrupt the normality of perception such that it yields problematic evidence. The problems that ensue from employing a static analysis to a situation calling for a genetic analysis cause me to recommend a limited use of instant replay in the types of cases which involve a genetic analysis. Epistemologically, I think that lived-time analysis is the optimal mode of perceiving and judging certain events. Humanistically, my concern is that the use of instant replay can disrupt the life-world of sport. (shrink)
In this paper we (1) define and describe the practice of narrative medicine, (2) reveal the need for narrative medicine by exposing the presuppositions that give rise to its discounting, including a reductive empiricism and a strict dichotomy between scientific fact and narrative value, (3) show evidence of the effects of education in narrative competence in the medical clinic, and (4) present Peircean realism as the proper conceptual model for our argument that the medical school curriculum committees should give space (...) to the employment of the scientific and literary knowledge in medical practice. On account of our argument, we contend that the medical community should tend to latitude and openness with regard to the tools we use to resolve medical problems. These tools include both biomedical and narrative knowledge. (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.
Este artigo é uma apresentação dos fundamentos da teoria modular desenvolvida por Jerry A. Fodor e uma reflexão sobre seus principais desafios. A noção de modularidade da mente de Fodor, por um lado, procura superar as insuficiências metodológicas e epistemológicas do associacionismo e do localizacionismo a respeito das explicações da estrutura e do funcionamento mental; por outro lado, é uma oposição à postura culturalista de Vygotsky, para o qual as funções superiores da mente, como a cognição, são produtos artificiais, (...) culturais. A psicologia cognitiva de Chomsky converteu esse produto “artificial” em “natural”, postulando a existência de módulos inatos para desempenhar funções cognitivas específicos. Com base nessa ideia de Chomsky, Fodor procura explicar a mente como um conjunto de módulos. No entanto, sua principal contribuição para as ciências cognitivas é a apresentação da arquitetura mental em dois níveis e a afirmação da existência de módulos centrais responsáveis pelas atividades cognitivas superiores, como criatividade, reflexão ou imaginação. (shrink)
[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)
If conceptual analysis is possible for finite thinkers, then there must ultimately be a distinction between complex and primitive or irreducible and unanalyzable concepts, by which complex concepts are analyzed as relations among primitive concepts. This investigation considers the advantages of categorizing intentionality as a primitive rather than analyzable concept, in both a historical Brentanian context and in terms of contemporary philosophy of mind. Arguments in support of intentionality as a primitive relation are evaluated relative to objections, especially a recent (...) criticism by Jerry A. Fodor. Against this background, the relation between qualia and intentionality in the understanding of consciousness is explored. (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)
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)
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)
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)