The University of Sussex

Thoughts, sentences and cognitive science

Andy Clark

Cognitive Science, it is argued, comprises two distinct projects. One is an engineering project whose goal is the mapping of relations between thoughts as ascribed using the (sentential) apparatus of the propositional attitudes. Some theorists (e.g. Fodor (1987) insist that the two projects are (in a sense to be explained) deeply related. This view is contested, and the consequences of its abandonment examined. Such consequences are seen to include (i) the irrelevance of scientific arguments for Eliminative Materialism, (ii) a view concerning the proper roles of classical and connectionist work in Artificial Intelligence and (iii) the failure of an allegedly damning argument against connectionism (the so-called systematicity argument).

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