Fodor and the inscrutability problem

Mind and Language 12 (3-4):475-89 (1997)

Greg Ray
University of Florida
In his 1993 Nicod Lectures (The Elm & the Expert), Jerry Fodor proposed a solution to a certain version of the problem of 'inscrutability of reference', which problem poses a challenge to a certain naturalistic, computational approach to cognition which Fodor has favored. The problem is that a purely informational account of an agent's mental contents cannot discriminate meanings finely enough. Fodor proposes a strategy of solution which appeals to the inferential dispositions of agents to discriminate contents more finely. After a brief exposition of the problem and Fodor's bid for solution, I employ three counterexamples to argue that Fodor's proposal cannot succeed.
Keywords Cognition  Computation  Epistemology  Language  Reference  Fodor, J
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DOI 10.1111/1468-0017.00058
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