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Restructuring Fodor's concepts

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Restructuring Fodor's concepts

Ion, Octavian (2005) Restructuring Fodor's concepts. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis critically examines Jerry Fodor's account of concepts as outlined in his 1998 book, Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong. According to this account, concepts are ordered pairs consisting of mental representations and contents. The relationship between the content of a concept and the mental representation is law-like and functions as follows: The content of the concept is whatever causes its mental representation to be tokened. The issue that I examine is Fodor's claim that it is objects which are picked out by our concepts. I argue that this point of view only arises because he conflates the notion of an object with the notion of its property. Given the mechanisms of perception which underwrite the functioning of our concepts, it is actually properties and not objects that cause our mental representations to be tokened, and therefore Fodor's concepts need to be restructured. I put forward a proposal for how this might be achieved, which requires that properties be added to the structure of concepts. In the rest of the thesis I examine how Fodor deals with two problematic cases from philosophy of language, namely the Frege cases and the Twin-Earth cases. I argue that the proposed account I set forth can provide more efficient solutions for handling the cases than Fodor's original account.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ion, Octavian
Pagination:vi, 63 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Philosophy
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Clarke, Murray
ID Code:8459
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:26
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:26
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