My thanks to referee Deirdre Wilson and one anonymous referee for insightful and thought-provoking comments. Thanks also to Kathleen Akins, Andy Brook, David Davies, Bill Demopoulos, Daniel Dennett, Lila Gleitman, Tim Kenyon, Ausonio Marras, Glenn Parsons, Paul Pietroski, Georges Rey, Robert Stainton, and Zenon Pylyshyn for helpful discussion of the issues in this paper and/or comments on earlier drafts. Thanks to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for funding my research. A special thanks to Ernie Lepore for housing me at RUCCS while I was working on this paper. Finally, very special thanks to Jerry Fodor for a most helpful discussion of many of his views.
Learning to Think: A Response to the Language of Thought Argument for Innateness
Article first published online: 1 JUN 2005
Mind & Language
Volume 20, Issue 3, pages 313–325, June 2005
How to Cite
Viger, C. (2005), Learning to Think: A Response to the Language of Thought Argument for Innateness. Mind & Language, 20: 313–325. doi: 10.1111/j.0268-1064.2005.00287.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 1 JUN 2005
Abstract: Jerry Fodor's argument for an innate language of thought continues to be a hurdle for researchers arguing that natural languages provide us with richer conceptual systems than our innate cognitive resources. I argue that because the logical/formal terms of natural languages are given a use-theory of meaning, unlike predicates, logical/formal terms might be learned without a mediating internal representation. In that case, our innate representational system might have less logical structure than a natural language, making it possible that we augment our innate representational system and improve our ability to think by learning a natural language.