- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Leibniz1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 06/03/2018 21:21:36): Language of Thought
- Jerry Fodor’s Language of Thought (LOT) hypothesis features heavily in debates in the philosophy of mind – particularly in the debates between connectionists and computationalists.
- See "Aydede (Murat) - The Language of Thought Hypothesis" for an overview.
- My interest in it within the sphere of personal identity arises because of the alleged essentiality of language for personhood (see "Dennett (Daniel) - Conditions of Personhood"). As such, all non-human animals4 are ruled out – because even if certain Great Apes can be taught sign-language, this is not natural to them in the way language is to human beings, and it implies that an individual can be taught to be a person5.
- It is also often alleged (eg. by Donald Davidson) that animals cannot even think in the absence of language, because thinking requires concepts6, and concepts are only expressed in language.
- These (to me) unwanted conclusions might disappear if all animals whose minds appear to have intensional states should have a language of thought.
- I don’t know whether Fodor cares about animals in this context, or whether his theory was designed strictly with human beings7 in mind.
- I like the idea that a LOT – which initially only helps an individual – might explain how spoken language arose amongst human beings – given that a spoken language requires a pair of speakers before it becomes useful (even if grunts and other vocalisations don’t). If a language of thought spilled out into vocalisation, even though individual vocalisations might be initially mutually-unintelligible, a conventional speech (constrained only by universal grammar) might naturally arise with the co-operative behaviour germane to social animals.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read8, include9 the following:-
- "Fodor (Jerry) - Psychosemantics", Fodor10
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Aydede (Murat) - The Language of Thought Hypothesis", Aydede
- "Carruthers (Peter) & Boucher (Jill) - Language and Thought", Carruthers & Boucher
- "Chomsky (Noam) - Biolinguistic Explorations: Design, Development, Evolution", Chomsky
- "Davies (Martin) - Concepts, Connectionism, and the Language of Thought", Davies
- "DeWitt (Richard) - Vagueness, Semantics, and the Language of Thought (Review of Jerry Fodor, George Miller, & D. Terence Langendoen - Language of Thought )", DeWitt
- "Fodor (Jerry) - The Language of Thought", Fodor
- "Horgan (Terence) & Tienson (John) - Why There Still Has to be a Language of Thought, and What That Means", Horgan & Tienson
- "Kaye (Larry) - The Language of Thought", Kaye, and
→ "Kaye (Larry) - The Language of Thought - Annotated Bibliography"
- "Laurence (Stephen) & Margolis (Eric) - Regress Arguments Against the Language of Thought", Laurence & Margolis
- "Lycan (William) - The 'Language of Thought' Hypothesis - Introduction", Lycan
- "Pollock (John L.) - The Language of Thought", Pollock
- "Pollock (John L.) - Understanding the Language of Thought", Pollock
- "Rey (Georges) - Sensations in a Language of Thought", Rey
- "Rowlands (Mark) - Connectionism and the Language of Thought", Rowlands
- "Smolensky (Paul) - Connectionism, Constituency and the Language of Thought", Smolensky
- "Viger (Christopher) - Learning to Think: A Response to the Language of Thought Argument for Innateness", Viger
- A few connections to be followed up:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker
- Baker - The Human Animal: Big-Tent Metaphysics11
- Brandom - Toward a Normative Pragmatics (Introduction)12
- Daniel Dennett – Conditions of Personhood13
- Implicit knowledge and language learning14
- Jen_071022 (Dennett)15
- Jen_080204 (Brandom, Chisholm, Baillie)16
- This is mostly a place-holder17.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (06/03/2018 21:21:36).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018