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The Commitment to LOT


I argue that acceptance of realist intentional explanations of cognitive behaviour inescapably lead to a commitment to the language of thought (LOT) and that this is, therefore, a widely held commitment of philosophers of mind. In the course of the discussion, I offer a succinct and precise statement of the hypothesis and analyze a representative series of examples of pro-LOT argumentation. After examining two cases of resistance to this line of reasoning, I show, by way of conclusion, that the commitment to LOT is an empirically substantial one in spite of the flexibility and incomplete character of the hypothesis.

Je soutiens qu’accepter les explications réalistes intentionnelles du comportement cognitif conduit inévitablement à endosser l’hypothèse du langage de la pensée («language of thought», LOT), et que cette position théorique est, par conséquent, largement répandue chez les philosophes de l’esprit. Au cours de la discussion, je propose un exposé succinct et précis de cette hypothèse et j’analyse une série d’exemples représentatifs de l’argumentation pro-LOT. Après avoir examiné deux cas de résistance à ce type de raisonnement, je conclus en montrant que le soutien accordé à la LOT est empiriquement substantiel, en dépit de la flexibilité et du caractère incomplet de cette hypothèse.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
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  • EISSN: 1759-0949
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