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Language, Thought and Consciousness : An Essay in Philosophical Psychology - Peter Carruthers

Language, Thought and Consciousness

An Essay in Philosophical Psychology

Paperback

Published: 20th April 1998
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Do we think in natural language? Or is language only for communication? Much recent work in philosophy and cognitive science assumes the latter. In contrast, Peter Carruthers argues that much of human conscious thinking is conducted in the medium of natural language sentences. However, this does not commit him to any sort of Whorfian linguistic relativism, and the view is developed wit hin a framework that is broadly nativist and modularist. His study will be essential reading for all those interested in the nature and significance of natural language, whether they come from philosophy, psychology or linguistics.

' ... a book crammed with penetrating observations and good arguments. Few readers will fail to learn something from it, and none will be disappointed.' Times Literary Supplement

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
The geography of the issuesp. 9
Conceptual versus natural modalityp. 9
Implications for philosophy and psychologyp. 13
Of wolves and wolf-childrenp. 16
Stalnaker's intelligent Martiansp. 20
Anti-realist argumentsp. 22
Realism in mindp. 25
Innateness and theory of mindp. 29
Thinking: images or sentences?p. 31
Which language do we think with?p. 40
The evidence from scientific psychologyp. 40
The evidence of introspection: images and imaged sentencesp. 49
The scope and strength of the introspective thesisp. 52
Objections and elucidationsp. 55
Fallible introspection and Fodorp. 60
Individuating propositional attitudesp. 62
Animals and infantsp. 65
Language-learning and sub-personal thoughtp. 67
Thought-based semanticsp. 73
The argument from foreign believersp. 73
Grice's thought-based semanticsp. 76
Two objectionsp. 78
Searle's version of thought-based semanticsp. 83
A marriage of Searle and Fodor?p. 85
Causal co-variance theoriesp. 88
Misrepresentation, and asymmetric causal dependencep. 91
The all Ss problemp. 96
Holism and languagep. 103
From mental realism to Mentalesep. 103
The demand for scientific vindicationp. 105
The problem of holismp. 107
Between holism and atomismp. 111
Arguments for holismp. 114
The need for a language-based semanticsp. 120
Language-based semantics 1: functional-role semanticsp. 123
Language-based semantics 2: canonical acceptance conditionsp. 127
First steps towards a theory of consciousnessp. 133
Retrospect: the need for a theory of consciousnessp. 133
Conscious versus non-conscious mental statesp. 135
Cartesian consciousnessp. 140
Why Cartesianism won't dop. 143
What kind of theory do we want?p. 147
Kirk: presence to central decision-makingp. 150
Higher-order discrimination and feelp. 154
The case for higher-order thought theoryp. 157
Second (-order) steps towards a theory of consciousnessp. 164
Theory 1: actual and consciousp. 164
Theory 2: actual and non-consciousp. 166
Theory 3: potential and non-consciousp. 170
Theory 4: potential and consciousp. 174
Dennett 1978: availability to print-outp. 176
Dennett 1991: multiple drafts and probesp. 178
Time and indeterminacyp. 183
Dennett on the place of language in thoughtp. 187
A reflexive thinking theory of consciousnessp. 194
Reflexive thinking theoryp. 194
Contrasts and advantagesp. 198
Conscious versus non-conscious thinkingp. 201
Objections and elucidationsp. 204
The problem of unityp. 208
The problem of phenomenal feelp. 212
A Cartesian Theatre?p. 217
Animals and infants revisitedp. 220
The involvement of language in conscious thinkingp. 225
An architecture for human thinkingp. 225
An evolutionary storyp. 231
The argument from introspection revisitedp. 234
Working memory and the central executivep. 245
The thesis of natural necessity (weak)p. 251
Objections and elucidationsp. 259
The thesis of natural necessity (strong)p. 263
The scope and significance of NNp. 269
Conclusionp. 277
Referencesp. 280
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521639996
ISBN-10: 0521639999
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 308
Published: 20th April 1998
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.46