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  1. The Rationalist Reply to Fodor's Analyticity and Circularity Challenge.Víctor M. Verdejo - 2013 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 28 (1):7-25.
    The Fodorian central objections to Inferential Role Semantics can be taken to include an ‘Analyticity Challenge’ and a ‘Circularity Challenge’, which are ultimately challenges to IRS explanations of concept possession. In this paper I present inferential role theories, critically examine these challenges and point out two misunderstandings to which they are exposed. I then state in detail a rationalist version of IRS and argue that this version meets head on the Fodorian challenges. If sound, these considerations show that there is (...)
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  • Meaning as an Inferential Role.Jaroslav Peregrin - 2006 - Erkenntnis 64 (1):1-35.
    While according to the inferentialists, meaning is always a kind of inferential role, proponents of other approaches to semantics often doubt that actual meanings, as they see them, can be generally reduced to inferential roles. In this paper we propose a formal framework for considering the hypothesis of the.
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  • Meaning Holism and De Re Ascription.Daniel Whiting - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):575-599.
    According to inferential role semantics (IRS), for an expression to have a particular meaning or express a certain concept is for subjects to be disposed to make, or to treat as proper, certain inferential transitions involving that expression.1 Such a theory of meaning is holistic, since according to it the meaning or concept any given expression possesses or expresses depends on the inferential relations it stands in to other expressions.
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  • Meaning and Justification: The Case of Modus Ponens.Joshua Schechter & David Enoch - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):687 - 715.
    In virtue of what are we justified in employing the rule of inference Modus Ponens? One tempting approach to answering this question is to claim that we are justified in employing Modus Ponens purely in virtue of facts concerning meaning or concept-possession. In this paper, we argue that such meaning-based accounts cannot be accepted as the fundamental account of our justification.
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  • The Reliability Challenge and the Epistemology of Logic.Joshua Schechter - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):437-464.
    We think of logic as objective. We also think that we are reliable about logic. These views jointly generate a puzzle: How is it that we are reliable about logic? How is it that our logical beliefs match an objective domain of logical fact? This is an instance of a more general challenge to explain our reliability about a priori domains. In this paper, I argue that the nature of this challenge has not been properly understood. I explicate the challenge (...)
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  • Retracing Our Steps: Fodor’s New Old Way with Concept Acquisition. [REVIEW]John Sarnecki - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (40):41-73.
    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 (...)
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  • Complex First? On the Evolutionary and Developmental Priority of Semantically Thick Words.Markus Werning - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):1096-1108.
    The Complex-First Paradox consists in a set of collectively incompatible but individually well-confirmed propositions that regard the evolution, development, and cortical realization of the meanings of concrete nouns. Although these meanings are acquired earlier than those of other word classes, they are semantically more complex and their cortical realizations more widely distributed. For a neurally implemented syntaxsemantics interface, it should thus take more effort to establish a link between a concept and its lexical expression. However, in ontogeny and phylogeny, capabilities (...)
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  • Computation and Functionalism: Syntactic Theory of Mind Revisited.Murat Aydede - 2005 - In Gurol Irzik & Guven Guzeldere (eds.), Boston Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Springer.
    I argue that Stich's Syntactic Theory of Mind (STM) and a naturalistic narrow content functionalism run on a Language of Though story have the same exact structure. I elaborate on the argument that narrow content functionalism is either irremediably holistic in a rather destructive sense, or else doesn't have the resources for individuating contents interpersonally. So I show that, contrary to his own advertisement, Stich's STM has exactly the same problems (like holism, vagueness, observer-relativity, etc.) that he claims plague content-based (...)
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  • Concepts: A Potboiler.Jerry A. Fodor - 1995 - Philosophical Issues 6:133-51.
  • Semantic Holism in Scientific Language.Holger Andreas - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (4):524-543.
    Whether meaning is compositional has been a major issue in linguistics and formal philosophy of language for the last 2 decades. Semantic holism is widely and plausibly considered as an objection to the principle of semantic compositionality therein. It comes as a surprise that the holistic peculiarities of scientific language have been rarely addressed in formal accounts so far, given that semantic holism has its roots in the philosophy of science. For this reason, a model-theoretic approach to semantic holism in (...)
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  • Brandom's Burdens: Compositionality and Inferentialism.Ernie Lepore & Jerry Fodor - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):465–481.
  • Implicit Definition and the Application of Logic.Thomas Kroedel - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):131-148.
    The paper argues that the theory of Implicit Definition cannot give an account of knowledge of logical principles. According to this theory, the meanings of certain expressions are determined such that they make certain principles containing them true; this is supposed to explain our knowledge of the principles as derived from our knowledge of what the expressions mean. The paper argues that this explanation succeeds only if Implicit Definition can account for our understanding of the logical constants, and that fully (...)
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  • Do Inferential Roles Compose?Mark McCullagh - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (4):431-38.
    Jerry Fodor and Ernie Lepore have argued that inferential roles are not compositional. It is unclear, however, whether the theories at which they aim their objection are obliged to meet the strong compositionality requirement they have in mind. But even if that requirement is accepted, the data they adduce can in fact be derived from an inferential-role theory that meets it. Technically this is trivial, but it raises some interesting objections turning on the issue of the generality of inferential roles. (...)
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  • Explanation, Understanding, and Control.Ryan Smith - 2014 - Synthese 191 (17):4169-4200.
    There is a recent interest within both philosophy of science as well as within epistemology to provide a defensible account of understanding. In the present article I build on insights from previous work in attempt to provide an account of two related forms of understanding in terms of the ability to form rational intentions when using specific types of mental representations. I propose first that “understanding that X” requires that one form a representation of X and, further, that one must (...)
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  • Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Nicholas Georgalis, Ashwin Ram, Eric K. Jones, J. Angelo Corlett, Carol Slater, C. U. M. Smith & Dorit Bar‐On - 1995 - Philosophical Psychology 8 (2):189-212.
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  • Is Even Thought Compositional?Lenny Clapp - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (2):299-322.
    Fodor (Mind Lang 16:1–15, 2001 ) endorses the mixed view that thought, yet not language, is compositional. That is, Fodor accepts the arguments of radical pragmatics that language is not compositional, but he claims these arguments do not apply to thought. My purpose here is to evaluate this mixed position: Assuming that the radical pragmaticists are right that language is not compositional, what arguments can be provided in support of the claim that thought is compositional? Before such arguments can be (...)
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  • Margaret A. Boden, Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science , 2 Vols. [REVIEW]Vincent C. Müller - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (1):121-125.
    Review of: Margaret A. Boden, Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, 2 vols, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, xlvii+1631, cloth $225, ISBN 0-19-924144-9. - Mind as Machine is Margaret Boden’s opus magnum. For one thing, it comes in two massive volumes of nearly 1700 pages, ... But it is not just the opus magnum in simple terms of size, but also a truly crowning achievement of half a century’s career in cognitive science.
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  • Using Neural Networks to Generate Inferential Roles for Natural Language.Peter Blouw & Chris Eliasmith - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • Representational Analyticity.Jack C. Lyons - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (4):392–422.
    The traditional understanding of analyticity in terms of concept containment is revisited, but with a concept explicitly understood as a certain kind of mental representation and containment being read correspondingly literally. The resulting conception of analyticity avoids much of the vagueness associated with attempts to explicate analyticity in terms of synonymy by moving the locus of discussion from the philosophy of language to the philosophy of mind. The account provided here illustrates some interesting features of representations and explains, at least (...)
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  • Functional Role Semantics and Reflective Equilibrium.Simone Gozzano - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (38):62-76.
    In this paper it is argued that functional role semantics can be saved from criticisms, such as those raised by Putnam and Fodor and Lepore, by indicating which beliefs and inferences are more constitutive in determining mental content. The Scylla is not to use vague expressions; the Charybdis is not to endorse the analytic/synthetic distinction. The core idea is to use reflective equilibrium as a strategy to pinpoint which are the beliefs and the inferences that constitute the content of a (...)
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  • Slippery Slope Arguments.Anneli Jefferson - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):672-680.
    Slippery slope arguments are frequently dismissed as fallacious or weak arguments but are nevertheless commonly used in political and bioethical debates. This paper gives an overview of different variants of the argument commonly found in the literature and addresses their argumentative strength and the interrelations between them. The most common variant, the empirical slippery slope argument, predicts that if we do A, at some point the highly undesirable B will follow. I discuss both the question which factors affect likelihood of (...)
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  • A Non-Compositional Inferential Role Theory.Martin Montminy - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (2):211-233.
    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.
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  • Confirmation and Meaning Holism Revisited.Timothy Fuller - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    Does confirmation holism imply meaning holism? A plausible and novel argument, all of whose premises enjoy significant support among contemporary philosophers, links the two theses. This article presents this argument and diagnoses it with a weakness. The weakness illustrates a general difficulty with drawing morals for the nature of ordinary thought and language from claims about the nature of science. The diagnosis is instructive: It suggests more fruitful relations between theories of scientific theory confirmation and semantic theories of our everyday (...)
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  • Reply to Block and Boghossian.Jerry A. Fodor & Ernest LePore - 1993 - Mind and Language 8 (1):41-48.
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  • The Current Status of Research on Concept Combination.Lance J. Rips - 1995 - Mind and Language 10 (1-2):72-104.
  • Is Psychological Individualism a Piece of Ideology?Louise M. Antony - 1995 - Hypatia 10 (3):157 - 174.
    I analyze and criticize Naomi Scheman's argument for the claim that psychological individualism-the thesis that psychological states are entities or particulars over which psychological theories may quantify-has no legitimate philosophical backing and is instead an element of patriarchal ideology. I conclude that Scheman's argument is flawed and that her thesis is false. Psychological individualism is perfectly compatible with and may even be required by feminist political theory.
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