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A Theory of Content and Other Essays by Jerry A. Fodor

By Jerry A. Fodor

This number of new and formerly released essays displays the main learn and considered one in every of contemporary preeminent philosophers of brain. the 1st seven essays are philosophical items that concentrate on psychological illustration and the principles of intentionality; they're through 4 mental essays on cognitive structure. In his eloquent advent, Fodor exhibits how the 2 components are thematically united and epistemologically similar, highlighting his curiosity find possible choices to holistic debts of cognitive content material.

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Here not being ' able to tell what the situation is' doesn' t mean not being able to tell what it is that' s true in the situation ; it means not being able to tell what situation it is that the . You can' t tell , for example, that the symbol ' Tom is symbolrepresents ' Armenian represents Tom ' s being French unless you happen to know Tom' s nationality . It may be supposed that Stampe could disapprove of this along the following lines : you can, in one sense, tell what ' Tom is Armenian ' ' represents even if you don t know that Tom is Swiss.

Linguistic symbols, it' s very far from evident how , or even whether , the corresponding distinction can be 36 Chapter2 drawn . If I say to you 'John is thirty -two , ' you can learn something reliable about John' s age from what I said. , that he weighs more than a gram) . It may be possible to discipline the intuition that what you learn about John' s age you learn just from the symbol and what you learn about his weight you learn from the symbol plus background information . But drawing that distinction is notoriously hard and , if the construal of representation depends on our doing so, we are in serious trouble .

May, but needn t , 'be themselves ' But the mental contents (the thoughts , as it were ) that get transformed must be explicitly represented or the theory is simply false. To put it another way : if the occurrence of a thought is an episode in a mental process, then RTM is committed to the explicit representation of the content of the thought . Or , to put it still a third way the way they like to put it in AI - according to RTM , programs may be explicitly represented and data structures have to be.

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