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Approaches to Intentionality$
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William Lyons

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198752226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198752226.001.0001

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The Return to Representation

The Return to Representation

(p.40) 2 The Return to Representation
Approaches to Intentionality

William Lyons

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by examining Jerry Fodor and the rationalist tradition. For Fodor, brains are semantic engines driven by intentional states. Based on his two works, The Language of Thought, and Representations, intentionality is primarily, originally, a real feature of our brains, and language is intentional only in a secondary sense because it describes the real features of the mind. Secondly, the chapter presents evidence for the language of thought: concept learning, language learning, and perception. It cites some a priori reasons for adopting the language of thought hypothesis. Thirdly, it elaborates on intentionality, representational theory of mind, and folk psychology. Lastly, it takes a closer look into Fodor's account of concept formation and differentiates connectionism and the representational theory of mind.

Keywords:   Fodor, The Language of Thought, Representations, concept formation, theory of mind, folk psychology, concept learning, language learning

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