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Why does J. A. Fodor think that there must be a language of thought? Is he right?
Pages 8 (2008 words)
Jerry Fodor is a prominent linguistic philosopher and cognitive scientist. Fodor’s linguistic philosophy eschews structural models of language for an approach that builds on Noam Chomsky’s generative grammar.
Specifically, Fodor advanced a notion of a language of thought. Fodor’s Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) states that the thought process occurring in the mind is a symbolic system that parallels a language in structure. Jerry Fodor’s presented LOTH in his aptly titled book The Language of Thought (Fodor 1975). Through an examination the major platforms of the LOTH hypothesis, as well as prominent criticisms, this essay examines the extent that Fodor is successful in articulating the existence of a language of thought. Language of Thought Philosophers have formulated LOTH by considering the multiplicity of thoughts, or propositional attitudes. One can identify propositional attitudes in sentences like ‘A wishes that B’, or ‘A thinks that B’, or ‘A intends that B’. A is the subject of attitude, B is the sentence, and ‘that B’ is the proposition or the object of the attitude. If we say that C stands for verbs like ‘wishes’, ‘thinks’, and ‘intends’, then the propositional attitude sentences would take the form: ‘A Cs that B’. Therefore, LOTH can be considered as a hypothesis that features how we create propositional attitudes in our ‘mental language’, and how we relate our thought and thinking with them. ...
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