Leibniz and Piccinini versus Jerry Fodor - Is there a language of thought ?
1. Jerry Fodor argues that thoughts have "representations", namely that there is a language of thought: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_thought In which, as I understand it, computations are made by the brain presumably semantically using this language in some analogy to a Turing machine. 2. There is an alternate theory of thinking by Gualteiro Piccinini: http://philpapers.org/rec/PICCWR as well as Leibniz, which seems to me to be essentially pragmatic or or perhaps mechanical, not semantic, so not disimilar to Leibniz's theory of perceptions and the following of the pre-established order. Leibniz's theory as well as this theory can seemingly'be used by any biological entity, and in Leibniz's case at least, by non-biological (in the conventional sense) entities. Both of these seem to follow these steps: a) the brain perceives a sensory and b) by some mechanism "knows" what it perceives (forming a representation, a word that Piccinini rejects) c) which causes it pragmatically to act in an instinctual. learned or otherwise prescribed fashion. Here semantics are replaced by functional (pragmatic) mechanisms. In Leibniz these steps are carried out by the One which in a) converts a sensory into signal into a perception and in b) and c) carries out a prescribed action which biologists might call an instinct and which Leibniz calls a pre-established harmony. Dr. Roger B Clough NIST (ret.) [1/1/2000] See my Leibniz site at http://independent.academia.edu/RogerClough --- This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active. http://www.avast.com -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.