more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 2606

[catalogued under 18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 4. Language of Thought]

Full Idea

Computers have a built-in language, but not a language that contains quantifiers (that is, the words "all" and "some"). ůSo generalizations (containing "all") cannot ever be stated in machine language.

Gist of Idea

No machine language can express generalisations


Hilary Putnam (What is innate and why [1980], p.408)

Book Reference

'The Philosophy of Mind', ed/tr. Beakley,B /Ludlow P [MIT 1992], p.408

A Reaction

Computers are too sophisticated to need quantification (which is crude). Computers can work with very precise and complex specifications of the domain of a given variable.

Related Idea

Idea 11121 Language of thought has subject/predicate form and includes logical devices [Margolis/Laurence]