language of thought hypothesis

The hypothesis especially associated with Fodor, that mental processing occurs in a language different from one's ordinary native language, but underlying and explaining our competence with it. The idea is a development of the Chomskyan notion of an innate universal grammar. It is a way of drawing the analogy between the workings of the brain or mind and those of a standard computer, since computer programs are linguistically complex sets of instructions whose execution explains the surface behaviour of the computer. As an explanation of ordinary language-learning and competence the hypothesis has not found universal favour. It apparently only explains ordinary representational powers by invoking innate things of the same sort, and it invites the image of the learning infant translating the language surrounding it back into an innate language whose own powers are a mysterious biological given. See also theory-theory.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Language of thought hypothesis — In philosophy of mind, the language of thought hypothesis (LOTH) put forward by American philosopher Jerry Fodor describes thoughts as represented in a language (sometimes known as mentalese) that allows complex thoughts to be built up by… …   Wikipedia

  • language of thought — hypothesis …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Language of thought — Jerry A. Fodor s Language of Thought (LOT) hypothesis states that cognition and cognitive processes are only remotely plausible when expressed as computational in terms of representational systems. He uses empirical data drawn from linguistics… …   Wikipedia

  • Language and thought — A variety of different authors, theories and fields purport influences between language and thought.Many point out the seemingly common sense realization that upon introspection we seem to think in the language we speak. A number of writers and… …   Wikipedia

  • language, philosophy of — Philosophical study of the nature and use of natural languages and the relations between language, language users, and the world. It encompasses the philosophical study of linguistic meaning (see semantics), the philosophical study of language… …   Universalium

  • Language Log — is a collaborative language blog maintained by University of Pennsylvania phonetician Mark Liberman.The site is updated daily at the whims of the contributors, and most of the posts are on language use in the media and popular culture. Google… …   Wikipedia

  • Thought experiment — A thought experiment (from the German Gedankenexperiment ) is a proposal for an experiment that would test a hypothesis or theory but cannot actually be performed due to practical limitations; instead its purpose is to explore the potential… …   Wikipedia

  • Language acquisition device — The Language Acquisition Device (LAD) is a postulated organ of the brain that is supposed to function as a congenital device for learning symbolic language (i.e., language acquisition). First proposed by Noam Chomsky, the LAD concept is a… …   Wikipedia

  • Thought —    1) The Essential Feature of Thought Is Symbolism    My hypothesis then is that thought models, or parallels, reality that its essential feature is not the mind, the self, sense data, nor propositions but symbolism, and that this symbolism is… …   Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science

  • language — Any verbal or non verbal communication engaged in by humans, animals, or even machines. The general field of study which deals with the socio cultural functions and construction of language is known as sociolinguistics. Sociologists,… …   Dictionary of sociology

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.