Cognitivism and Explanantory Relativity

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):505-526 (1998)
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In much of his writing in the philosophy of mind, John Searle has been highly critical of what N. Block refers to as ‘The Computer Model of the Mind’ — the approach that treats the mind as a symbol-manipulating device akin in spirit, if not detail, to the modem computer. Searle refers to this philosophical approach as ‘cognitivism.’ The extent of his skepticism and animus toward the computer model of the mind is plainly apparent in the following quotation from Searle: ‘I used to believe that as a causal account, the cognitivist's theory was at least false, but I am now having difficulty formulating a version of it that is coherent even to the point where it could be an empirical thesis at all’. In what follows, I shall attempt to show that this charge of incoherence is unfounded.



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Jeffrey Hershfield
Wichita State University

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Mental representation.Hartry Field - 1978 - Erkenntnis 13 (July):9-61.
Meaning and Mental Representation.Peter Carruthers - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (161):527-530.
Intrinsic intentionality.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):450-457.
Toward a homuncular theory of believing.William G. Lycan - 1981 - Cognition and Brain Theory 4 (2):139-59.

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