The Elm and the Expert: Mentalese and Its Semantics

The Elm and the Expert: Mentalese and Its Semantics

by Jerry A. Fodor
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262560933

ISBN-13: 9780262560931

Pub. Date: 08/28/1995

Publisher: MIT Press

Bound to be widely read and much discussed, The Elm and the Expert, written in Jerry Fodor's usual highly readable, irreverent style,provides a lively discussion of semantic issues about mental representation, with special attention to issues raised by Frege's problem, Twin cases, and the putative indeterminacy of reference. The book extends and revises a

…  See more details below

Overview

Bound to be widely read and much discussed, The Elm and the Expert, written in Jerry Fodor's usual highly readable, irreverent style,provides a lively discussion of semantic issues about mental representation, with special attention to issues raised by Frege's problem, Twin cases, and the putative indeterminacy of reference. The book extends and revises a view of the relation between mind and meaning that the author has been developing since his 1975 book,The Language of Thought.

There is a general consensus among philosophers that a referential semantics for mental representation cannot support a robust account of intentional explanation. Fodor has himself espoused this view in previous publications, and it is widespread (if tacit) throughout the cognitive science community. This book is largely a reconsideration of the arguments that are supposed to ground this consensus. Fodor concludes that these considerations are far less decisive than has been supposed. He offers a theory sketch in which psychological explanation is intentional, psychological processes are computational, and the semantic properties of mental representations are referential. Connections with the problem of "naturalizing" intentionality are also explored.

The four lectures in The Elm and the Expert were originally delivered in Paris in the spring of 1993 to inaugurate the Jean Nicod Lecture series. The Jean Nicod Lectures are delivered annually by a leading philosopher of mind or philosophically oriented cognitive scientist. The 1993 lectures marked the centenary of the birth of the French philosopher and logician Jean Nicod (1893-1931). The lectures are sponsored by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) as part of its effort to develop the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science in France.

Jean Nicod series

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262560931
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
08/28/1995
Series:
Jean Nicod Lectures
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Preface
1If Psychological Processes Are Computational, How Can Psychological Laws Be Intentional?1
2Life without Narrow Content?27
3Rabbit Redux (or, 'Reference Scrutinized')55
4Why We Are So Clever; An Epistemological Postlude81
Appendix A: Names105
Appendix B: Meaning and History115
Notes121
References127
Name index129

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >