Friday, October 20, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Jerry Fodor


American philosopher, cognitive scientist, and author of many works in the fields of philosophy of mind and cognitive science, in which he has laid the groundwork for the modularity of mind and the language of thought hypotheses, among other ideas.
Page 1 of 1
Jerry Fodor
If people differ in an absolutely general way in their estimations of epistemic relevance, and if we follow the holism of meaning and individuate intentional states by way of the totality of their epistemic bonds, the consequence will be that two people (or, for that matter, two temporal sections of the same person) will never be in the same intentional state. Therefore, two people can never be subsumed under the same intentional generalizations. And, therefore, intentional generalization can never be successful. And, therefore again, there is no hope for an intentional psychology.
Fodor quotes
From the point of view of semantics, errors must be accidents: if in the extension of "horse" there are no cows, then it cannot be required for the meaning of "horse" that cows be called horses. On the other hand, if "horse" did not mean that which it means, and if it were an error for horses, it would never be possible for a cow to be called "horse." Putting the two things together, it can be seen that the possibility of falsely saying "this is a horse" presupposes the existence of a semantic basis for saying it truly, but not vice versa. If we put this in terms of the crude causal theory, the fact that cows cause one to say "horse" depends on the fact that horses cause one to say "horse"; but the fact that horses cause one to say "horse" does not depend on the fact that cows cause one to say "horse"...
Fodor
This monograph is about the current status of the faculty psychology program; not so much its evidential status (which I take to be, for the most part, an open question ) as what the program is and where it does, and doesn't, seem natural to try to apply it. Specifically I want to do the following things: (1) distinguish the general claim that there are psychological faculties from a particular version of that claim, which I shall call the modularity thesis; (2) enumerate some of the properties that modular cognitive systems are likely to exhibit in virtue of their modularity ; and (3) consider whether it is possible to formulate any plausible hypothesis about which mental processes are likely to be the modular ones. Toward the end of the discussion, I'll also try to do something by way of (4) disentangling the faculty jmodularity issues from what I'll call the thesis of Epistemic Boundedness: the idea that there are endogenously determined constraints on the kinds of problems that human be.




Fodor Jerry quotes
Philosophers who have wanted to banish the ghost from the machine have usually sought to do so by showing that truths about behavior can sometimes, and in some sense, logically implicate truths about mental states. In so doing, they have rather strongly suggested that the exorcism can be carried through only if such a logical connection can be made out. [O]nce it has been made clear that the choice between dualism and behaviorism is not exhaustive, a major motivation for the defense of behaviorism is removed: we are not required to be behaviorists simply in order to avoid being dualists.
Fodor Jerry
I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate anything else, excepting, maybe, fiberglass powerboats... surely, surely, no one but a relativist would drive a fiberglass powerboat.
Jerry Fodor quotes
FACULTY PSYCHOLOGY is getting to be respectable again after centuries of hanging around with phrenologists and other dubious types. By faculty psychology I mean, roughly , the view that many fundamentally different kinds of psychological mechanisms must be postulated in order to explain the facts of mental life . Faculty psychology takes seriously the apparent heterogeneity of the mental and is impressed by such prima facie differences as between, say, sensation and perception, volition and cognition, learning and remembering, or language and thought.
Jerry Fodor
[T]he degree of confirmation assigned to any given hypothesis is sensitive to properties of the entire belief system simplicity, plausibility, and conservatism are properties that theories have in virtue of their relation to the whole structure of scientific beliefs taken collectively. A measure of conservatism or simplicity would be a metric over global properties of belief systems.
Fodor Jerry quotes
The data that can bear on the confirmation of perceptual hypotheses includes, in the general case, considerably less than the organism may know.
Fodor
Fodor (who is now a close friend) is a gentle man inside a burly body, and prone to an even burlier style of arguing. He is shy and voluble at the same time ... a formidable polemicist burdened with a sensitive soul.... Disagreeing with Jerry on a philosophical issue, especially one dear to his heart can be a chastening experience.... His quickness of mind, inventiveness, and sharp wit are not to be tangled with before your first cup of coffee in the morning. Adding Jerry Fodor to the faculty at Rutgers [University] instantly put it on the map, Fodor being by common consent the leading philosopher of mind in the world today. I had met him in England in the seventies and ... found him to be the genuine article, intellectually speaking (though we do not always see eye to eye).
Page 1 of 1


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact