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What is Language Development?Rationalist, empiricist, and pragmatist approaches to the acquisition of syntax$
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James Russell

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198530862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198530862.001.0001

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Three psychologies: rationalist, empiricist, and pragmatist

Three psychologies: rationalist, empiricist, and pragmatist

(p.1) Part 1 Three psychologies: rationalist, empiricist, and pragmatist
What is Language Development?

James Russell

Oxford University Press

This section describes the philosophies of Rationalism, Empiricism, and Pragmatism. With regard to Rationalism, it focuses upon Chomsky's explicit support for this position and how he presents its implications for language, and spends a good deal of time on the nativism of Fodor and on his arguments for a ‘language of thought’. The section on Empiricism describes the work of the British Empiricist philosophers and the strengths and weaknesses of associative learning approaches within experimental psychology. The Pragmatism section describes the work of Peirce, W. James, and Rorty and Brandom, and touches upon the way Pragmatism as a philosophy might impact upon the study of language development.

Keywords:   Nativism, Fodor, language of thought, Hume, associative learning, C. S. Peirce

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