The Mundane Matter of the Mental Language

Overview

Offering an explanation of the fundamental nature of thought, this book posits the idea that thinking involves the processing of mental representations that take the form of sentences in a covert language encoded in the mind. The theory relies on traditional categories of psychology, including such notions as belief and desire. It also draws upon and thus inherits some of the problems of artificial intelligence which it attempts to answer, including what bestows meaning or content upon a thought and what ...
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Overview

Offering an explanation of the fundamental nature of thought, this book posits the idea that thinking involves the processing of mental representations that take the form of sentences in a covert language encoded in the mind. The theory relies on traditional categories of psychology, including such notions as belief and desire. It also draws upon and thus inherits some of the problems of artificial intelligence which it attempts to answer, including what bestows meaning or content upon a thought and what distinguishes genuine from simulated thought.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is lively, well informed, and very well written. It will be of considerable interest to philosophers and cognitive scientists concerned with mental representation, intentionality, consciousness and rationality." Stephen P. Stich, University of California, San Diego
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521039291
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/18/2007
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. The Mental Language: 1. Mentalistic constructs; 2. The Representational Theory of the Mind; 3. Folk psychology and Representationalism; 4. Sententialism; 5. The regress of embedded agents; 6. Notation and content; Part II. The Frame Problem and Scripts: 7. Combinatorial explosion; 8. The range and context of scripts; 9. Modular cognitive systems; Part III. Intelligence, Rationality and Behavior: 10. Intelligent behavior and brute reaction; 11. Rationality and behavior; 12. Causal waywardness; 13. Empirical tests of rationality; Part IV. Along the Cognitive Spectrum: 14. The scope of Sententialism; 15. From infant to adult; 16. Doxastic holism and Mentalese ambiguity; Part V. The Matter of Intentionality: 17. Searle's argument against Artificial Intelligence; 18. Artificial Intelligence at bay; 19. Language comprehension and translation; 20. Fragmented agents; 21. Cognitive psychology as a formal theory; 22. The mundane matter of mind; Part VI. Fixing the Content of Mental Sentences: 23. Empiricism and mental representations; 24. A causal explanation of sensuous representation; 25. Objections and replies; 26. Sensory doppelgängers; 27. Up from sensation; 28. Meaning and definition; Part VII. The Quality of Consciousness: 28. Functional accounts of consciousness; 29. Could qualia be non-psychological?; 30. Sententialism and consciousness; 31. Sensation and qualia; 32. Moods; 33. The subjectivity of consciousness; 34. What it is like to be different; 35. Artificial consciousness; References; Index.
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