Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Language of thought: The language of thought, also sometimes called mentalese, is a language of which is assumed that it is used for information processing in the brain. It is supposed to differ from the everyday language, which would require a twofold translation. Critics argue that this makes the explanations more complicated, or the brain requires a higher work performance than necessary. The homunculus argument has become known against the language of thought. Jerry Fodor. (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press. H. PutnamVs Mentalese explains nothing, only shifts the problem. R. SearleVsFodor. R. SearleVs Regress of homunculi (translation agents). R. Rorty's solution is a hierarchy of dumber homunculi.
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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Steven E. Boer on Language of Thought - Dictionary of Arguments

I 16
Thought language/Mentalese/Boer: if it exist, the singular terms would take over the presentation and the formulas of expressing. We summarize this in (D5):

(D5) R is a concept-dependent relation = for each object x and y that x has the relation R to y, entails for a representation z and one

I 17
Behavior-determining relation Q:
A) a has Q to z and
B) either (i) z forms y on x (that is, z is or contains something that represents y for x) or
(ii) z expresses y (that is, z is a representation with a fulfillment condition which it has from y) and
C) for any representation r which maps y or expresses it whether x has q to r depends on whether r has one or more intrinsic properties of a certain domain (i.e. there is a set F of intrinsic features of x' representations such that, for each representation r which maps y for x, x has Q to r iff r exemplifies a feature from F).
E.g. wanting to marry someone. Requires, among other things, certain visual impressions, a behavioral-determining relation, but not certain other visual or auditory impressions. Then we say that the relation exists under a certain specification.
This is in perfect agreement with (T2).
Problem: from (P2) seems to follow that e.g. Oedipus:

(14) The mother of Oedipus exemplifies the property of being a thing that Oedipus wants to marry.

I 18
From (P3) we conclude (15)

(15) Oedipus wants to marry the mother of Oedipus.

Solution: Differentiation of
A) Strong/notional reading: reports how Oedipus understands the desired condition
B) Weaker/relational reading: shows only which objects are involved, without taking into account what Oedipus thinks of them.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Boer I
Steven E. Boer
Thought-Contents: On the Ontology of Belief and the Semantics of Belief Attribution (Philosophical Studies Series) New York 2010

Boer II
Steven E. Boer
Knowing Who Cambridge 1986


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