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Mental Maps


  • Thanks to David Bourget, David Braddon-Mitchell, Christopher Gauker, Frank Jackson, Raamy Majeed, Luca Moretti, Michael Rescorla, Brad Richards, Delan Smithies, Daniel Stoljar, Weng-Hong Tang as well as audiences at the University of Sydney, the National University of Singapore, the Australian National University and the 2007 meeting of the Australasian Association of Philosophy in Armidale.


It’s often hypothesized that the structure of mental representation is map-like rather than language-like. The possibility arises as a counterexample to the argument from the best explanation of productivity and systematicity to the language of thought hypothesis—the hypothesis that mental structure is compositional and recursive. In this paper, I argue that the analogy with maps does not undermine the argument, because maps and language have the same kind of compositional and recursive structure.