Why is thought linguistic? Ockham's two conceptions of the intellect

Vivarium 46 (3):302-317 (2008)
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One of Ockham's fundamental tenets about the human intellect is that its acts constitute a mental language. Although this language of thought shares some of the features of conventional language, thought is commonly considered as prior to conventional language. This paper tries to show that this consensus is seriously challenged in Ockham's early writings. I shall argue that, in claiming the priority of conventional language over mental language, Ockham established a novel explanation of the systematicity of thought—an explanation which anticipates the idea that thought becomes systematic through the acquisition of conventional language.



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Martin Lenz
University of Groningen

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Learning and Labeling.Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Mind and Language 8 (4):540-548.
The mapping between the mental and the public lexicon.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1998 - In Peter Carruthers & Jill Boucher (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Cambridge University Press. pp. 184-200.
Sätze und Dinge: Die propositio in re bei Walter Burley und anderen.Christian Rode - 2005 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 10 (1):67-91.

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