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Ignorance of Language$
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Michael Devitt

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199250960.001.0001

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A Case for the Psychological Reality of Language

A Case for the Psychological Reality of Language

Chapter:
(p.142) 9 A Case for the Psychological Reality of Language
Source:
Ignorance of Language
Author(s):

Michael Devitt (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199250960.003.0009

This chapter begins with the popular “Representational Theory of the Mind” (RTM), according to which a thought involves a mental representation. It then follows Fodor in arguing for the controversial “Language-of-Thought Hypothesis” (LOTH), according to which representation is language-like. On the basis of LOTH, it is argued that the syntactic structure of this representation is likely to be similar to that of the sentence that expresses it in the thinker’s language. The tentative proposal is that a language is largely psychologically real in a speaker in that its rules are similar to the structure rules of her thought.

Keywords:   thoughts, Representational Theory of the Mind, RTM, mental representation, Language-of-Thought Hypothesis, LOTH, Fodor, psychological reality

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