The Language of Thought Hypothesis

Indeed, the natural language view need not even be associated with any general account of thought, though, no doubt, the most reasonable hypothesis is surely that:X has the thought that p iff X is appropriately related to a representation with the content p.The spoken/natural language view, then, is that:in many instances of human thoughts the relevant representation is a token of a spoken-language sentenceIf the existence of infant and animal thought is to conflict with the spoken language view of thought, then the mentalese theorist must show that there are reasons for thinking that some infra humans not only have thoughts, but in fact have thoughts.

Cognitive | Psychology Concepts

The second claim may or may not be part of this view--if it is, then this suggests the view that mentalese is a universal language of content.The alternative to either of these views is the hypothesis that linguistic thoughts occur in sentences (or phrases) of one or another of the languages we speak.


Should endangered languages be preserved, and at ..

It is the latter sort of hypothesis that concerns us here.The view of the mind that we have so far found support for is that we have various mental representations some of which are linguistic in nature (i.e., we have one or more internal languages as part of our collection of mental representations) and, we also have, no doubt, a large number of mental processes that consist of operations on these representations, but there is no reason for thinking that such operations occur in a language or languages that resemble natural languages in form or content.What sort of language, then, do we think in--i.e.


Jerry Fodor: Hypothesis of the Language of Thought , 1975.

The first step toward such an elimination might be a reduction in the scope of the term ‘mentalese’. The theoretical purpose of M is to explain how genetically determined cognition can support the acquisition and use of language. The role of mentalese after the acquisition of language should be left open. In particular, we should not insist that mentalese delimits our thinking. For this purpose, if mentalese exists at all, it need not be the medium of thought. Mentalese should only be defined as a medium for thought because such a definition is sufficient for the stated purposes of M (or theories like M such as S). In fact, for these theoretical purposes, it is sufficient for the “some” to be bounded below by non-human cognition (primate cognition may provide the boundary) and from above by syntactic cognition. So, a theoretically sufficient definition of mentalese is: a medium for -specific, presyntactic cognition. This limited conception of a genetically determined component of human cognition is viable even for S-like hypotheses.

Powerpoint used in Language of Thought course ..

An important consequence of M is that mentalese protects us against the limitations of thought that the S-W hypothesis claims our spoken languages impose on us. As we can see by the contrast with S, the limitations of thought are actually imposed by M. According to M, our genetically determined cognitive medium is not extensible. S, on the other hand, offers the prospect of unlimited extension of both our explicit and our implicit cognitive medium.

Problems With Mentalese Nov 20, 2014 Documents brent-silby

In 1928, Hilbert enumerated four prominent open problems in the theory of the foundation of mathematics. Within two years, Kurt Godel had resolved all of them. This essay has contrasted two hypotheses, M and S, about the relation between thought and language. The problem of which one can be falsified in a definitive way is an open problem in linguistics and cognitive science. I believe that Loglan is the instrumental medium that could contribute to the design of experiments that, like the Michelson-Morley experiments in theoretical physics, would test both M and S-W and determine if mentalese exists. If S could play a role in such an experiment, I would be delighted.