Representations in language processing: why comprehension is not “brute-causal”

Philosophical Psychology 29 (2):277-291 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

I defend a claim, central to much work in psycholinguistics, that constructing mental representations of syntactic structures is a necessary step in language comprehension. Call such representations “mental phrase markers”. Several theorists in psycholinguistics, AI, and philosophy have cast doubt on the usefulness of positing MPMs. I examine their proposals and argue that they face major empirical and conceptual difficulties. My conclusions tell against the broader skepticism that persists in philosophy—e.g., in the embodied cognition literature —about the usefulness of positing mental representations in psychological models. Using my discussion of sentence parsing as a case study, I propose several conditions on an appropriate appeal to mental representations. Finally, I point out that the familiar arguments from productivity, systematicity, and inferential coherence suffice to establish that MPMs themselves have a c..

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,389

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Intermediate Representations Exclude Embodiment.Guy Dove - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (4):353 - 354.
Representations Gone Mental.Alex Morgan - 2014 - Synthese 191 (2):213-244.
A Proof of the Partial Anomalousness of the Mental.John-Michael Kuczynski - 1998 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):491-504.
Causal Theories of Mental Content.Fred Adams & Ken Aizawa - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-09-05

Downloads
31 (#373,554)

6 months
1 (#415,900)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Pereplyotchik
Kent State University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations