Mentalese not spoken here: Computation, cognition, and causation

Philosophical Psychology 10 (4):413-35 (1997)
Classical computational modellers of mind urge that the mind is something like a von Neumann computer operating over a system of symbols constituting a language of thought. Such an architecture, they argue, presents us with the best explanation of the compositionality, systematicity and productivity of thought. The language of thought hypothesis is supported by additional independent arguments made popular by Jerry Fodor. Paul Smolensky has developed a connectionist architecture he claims adequately explains compositionality, systematicity and productivity without positing any language of thought, and without positing any operations over a set of symbols. This architecture encodes the information represented in linguistic trees without explicitly representing those trees or their constituents, and indeed without employing any representational vehicles with constituent structure. In a recent article, Fodor (1997; Connectionism and systematicity, Cognition , 62, 109-119) argues that Smolensky's proposal does not work. I defend Smolensky against Fodor's attack, and use this interchange as a vehicle for exploring and criticising the “Language of Thought” hypothesis more generally and the arguments Fodor adduces on its behalf.
Keywords Causation  Cognition  Computation  Psychology  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089708573231
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,411
External links
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

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

33 ( #145,632 of 1,924,740 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #254,761 of 1,924,740 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.