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Thinking without Words$
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José Luis Bermúdez

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159691

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159691.001.0001

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Two Approaches to the Nature of Thought

Two Approaches to the Nature of Thought

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 Two Approaches to the Nature of Thought
Source:
Thinking without Words
Author(s):

Jose Luis Bermudez

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159691.003.0002

This chapter examines two theories related to the human character. It explores the differing responses to the questions of psychological explanations of the behavior of nonlinguistic creatures given by the two approaches to the nature of thought outlined earlier, and shows how neither can provide a fully satisfying account of thinking without words. They are Ferge's conception of thoughts as the senses of sentences and Fodor's language of thought hypothesis to the effect that thinking should be understood in terms of the operation of sentence-like formulae in an internal language of thought. Both approaches start off from a single basic assumption, which is that the nature of thought can best be analyzed through the nature of language, but each approach takes a very different view of the essence of language. The chapter reveals Ferge's greater interest in mathematical thoughts than in those expressible by means of a natural language.

Keywords:   human character, Ferge, Fodor, language of thought hypothesis, natural language

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