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Elm and the Expert Mentalese and Its Semantics

ISBN-10: 0262560933
ISBN-13: 9780262560931
Edition: N/A
Authors: Jerry A. Fodor
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Description: Bound to be widely read and much discussed, The Elm and the Expert, written in Jerry Fodor's usual highly readable, irreverent style, provides a lively discussion of semantic issues about mental representation, with special attention to issues  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 8/28/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 144
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.176
Language: English

Bound to be widely read and much discussed, The Elm and the Expert, written in Jerry Fodor's usual highly readable, irreverent style, provides a lively discussion of semantic issues about mental representation, with special attention to issues raised by Frege's problem, Twin cases, and the putative indeterminacy of reference. The book extends and revises a view of the relation between mind and meaning that the author has been developing since his 1975 book The Language of Thought. There is a general consensus among philosophers that a referential semantics for mental representation cannot support a robust account of intentional explanation. Fodor has himself espoused this view in previous publications, and it is widespread (if tacit) throughout the cognitive science community. This book is largely a reconsideration of the arguments that are supposed to ground this consensus. Fodor concludes that these considerations are far less decisive than has been supposed. He offers a theory sketch in which psychological explanation is intentional, psychological processes are computational, and the semantic properties of mental representations are referential. Connections with the problem of "naturalizing" intentionality are also explored. The four lectures in The Elm and the Expertwere originally delivered in Paris in the spring of 1993 to inaugurate the Jean Nicod Lecture series. The Jean Nicod Lectures are delivered annually by a leading philosopher of mind or philosophically oriented cognitive scientist. The 1993 lectures marked the centenary of the birth of the French philosopher and logician Jean Nicod (1893-1931). The lectures are sponsored by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) as part of its effort to develop the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science in France. Jean Nicod series

Frank Biermann is Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy Sciences at VU University Amsterdam and Visiting Professor of Earth System Governance at Lund University. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of fifteen books, including Managers of Global Change: The Influence of International Environmental Bureaucracies (coedited with Bernd Siebenh�ner) and Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered (coedited with Philipp Pattberg), both published by the MIT Press.Jerry A. Fodor is State of New Jersey Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He is the author of The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology (MIT Press) and other books.

Series Foreword
Preface
If Psychological Processes Are Computational, How Can Psychological Laws Be Intentional?
Explanation
Metaphysics
Computation
Property Theories Again
Life without Narrow Content?
Harmony without Theology, Part I: Twins and Experts
Twins
Experts
Harmony without Theology, Part II: The Frege Cases
Oedipus: The Standard Diagnosis
Oedipus Rx
The Interim Morals
Rabbit Redux (or, 'Reference Scrutinized') 1
Quine's Puzzle
First Fling at Q
Recapitulation
Reformulation
Reference Scrutinized
The Cost of Scrutability
Yes, but What Does 'Gavagai' Mean?
Why We Are So Clever
An Epistemological Postlude
Interaction
Epistemology
Autonomy
Productivity
Experimentation
Names
Meaning and History
Notes
References
Name Index

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