In Critical Condition: Polemical Essays on Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Mind / Edition 1

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In this book Jerry Fodor contrasts his views about the mind with those of a number of well-known philosophers and cognitive scientists, including John McDowell, Christopher Peacocke, Paul Churchland, Daniel Dennett, Paul Smolensky, and Richard Dawkins. Several of these essays are published here for the first time. The rest originated as book reviews in the Times Literary Supplement,the London Review of Books, or in journals of philosophy or psychology. The topics examined include cognitive architecture, the nature of concepts, and the status of Darwinism in psychology. Fodor constructs a version of the Representational Theory of Mind that blends Intentional Realism, Computational Reductionism, Nativism, and Semantic Atomism.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"These wonderfully written and frequently profound essays represent Fodor at his critical, iconoclastic and humorous best—and it's pretty hard to get much better than that." Stephen Schiffer, Department of Philosophy, New York University
Stephen Schiffer
These wonderfully written and frequently profound essays represent Fodor at his critical, iconoclastic and humorous best — and it's pretty hard to get much better than that.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262561280
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2009
  • Series: Representation and Mind series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 229
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry A. Fodor is State of New Jersey Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He is the author of The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology (MIT Press) and other books.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Part I Metaphysics 1
Chapter 1 Review of John McDowell's Mind and World 3
Chapter 2 Special Sciences: Still Autonomous after All These Years (A Reply to Jaegwon Kim's "Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction") 9
Part II Concepts 25
Chapter 3 Review of Christopher Peacocke's A Study of Concepts 27
Chapter 4 There Are No Recognitional Concepts--Not Even RED 35
Chapter 5 There Are No Recognitional Concepts--Not Even RED, Part 2: The Plot Thickens 49
Chapter 6 Do We Think in Mentalese? Remarks on Some Arguments of Peter Carruthers 63
Chapter 7 Review of A. W. Moore's Points of View 75
Part III Cognitive Architecture 81
Chapter 8 Review of Paul Churchland's The Engine of Reason, The Seat of the Soul 83
Chapter 9 Connectionism and the Problem of Systematicity: Why Smolensky's Solution Doesn't Work 91
Chapter 10 Connectionism and the Problem of Systematicity (Continued): Why Smolensky's Solution Still Doesn't Work 113
Chapter 11 There and Back Again: A Review of Annette Karmiloff-Smith's Beyond Modularity 127
Chapter 12 Review of Jeff Elman et al., Rethinking Innateness 143
Chapter 13 Review of Steven Mithen's The Prehistory of the Mind 153
Part IV Philosophical Darwinism 161
Chapter 14 Review of Richard Dawkins's Climbing Mount Improbable 163
Chapter 15 Deconstructing Dennett's Darwin 171
Chapter 16 Is Science Biologically Possible? Comments on Some Arguments of Patricia Churchland and of Alvin Plantinga 189
Chapter 17 Review of Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works and Henry Plotkin's Evolution in Mind 203
References 215
Index 217
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