By D.M. Armstrong

ISBN-10: 0203003233

ISBN-13: 9780203003237

ISBN-10: 0415100313

ISBN-13: 9780415100311

This vintage paintings of modern philosophy used to be first released in 1968, and continues to be the main compelling and entire assertion of the view that the brain is fabric or actual. In A Materialist thought of the brain, D. M. Armstrong supplied new perception into the controversy surrounding the connection of the brain and physique. He placed forth a close materialist account of all of the major psychological phenomena, together with belief, sensation, trust, the need, introspection, psychological photos, and cognizance. This causal research of psychological strategies, in addition to the same idea by way of David Lewis, has come to dominate all next debates within the philosophy of brain.

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Extra info for A Materialist Theory of the Mind (International Library of Philosophy)

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Considerations of their expressive power suggest that concepts (more precisely, the mental representations that express them) might be a lot like words. We’ll see presently that there are many reasons for holding that concepts are a lot like words and none of them apply to the claim that concepts are a lot like pictures. That is the substance of the “language of thought” (LOT) hypothesis (Fodor 1975). There is doubtless much of interest to say about implications for cognitive theory of differences between iconic and discursive symbol systems (for more on the issue of “visual thinking,” see Pylyshyn 2003, ch.

But it’s far from obvious that an internal representation of Mentalese semantics needs to play any role in the psychology 46 Chapter 2 of thinking. In the kind of referential-causal semantics we think is appropriate for Mentalese, it doesn’t. Data about how subjects construe English ‘pet fish’ sentences make it clear that subjects use background information in interpreting tokens of them. But that hasn’t any obvious bearing on whether the constituents of the subject’s thoughts are stereotypes. If that’s right, then the experimental data that have generally been taken to bear on what conceptual content is are simply beside the point: they invariably are data about how subjects interpret tokens of such forms of words as ‘pet fish’, not data about how the conceptual constituents of their thoughts mentally represent pets or fish.

No doubt, they did so because they believed that words express concepts and that concepts are something like definitions. That, in turn, is why your teachers kept telling you how important it is for you to “define your terms,” thereby making clear exactly which concepts you have in mind when you use them. But, like so much else of what they taught you in grade school, the theory that concepts are definitions most likely isn’t true. We’ll presently say why it isn’t, but let’s start with some of its virtues.

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A Materialist Theory of the Mind (International Library of Philosophy) by D.M. Armstrong


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