Ideas from 'In a Critical Condition' by Jerry A. Fodor [2000], by Theme Structure

[found in 'In Critical Condition' by Fodor,Jerry A. [MIT 2000,0-262-56128-x]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Against Analysis
It seems likely that analysis of concepts is impossible, but justification can survive without it
Despite all the efforts of philosophers, nothing can ever be reduced to anything
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 8. Naturalising Reason
Turing invented the idea of mechanical rationality (just based on syntax)
2. Reason / E. Argument / 2. Transcendental Argument
Transcendental arguments move from knowing Q to knowing P because it depends on Q
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 7. Emergent Properties
The world is full of messy small things producing stable large-scale properties (e.g. mountains)
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / b. Partaking
Don't define something by a good instance of it; a good example is a special case of the ordinary example
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 3. Belief / e. Belief holism
How do you count beliefs?
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism
Berkeley seems to have mistakenly thought that chairs are the same as after-images
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 6. Inference in Perception
Maybe explaining the mechanics of perception will explain the concepts involved
12. Knowledge Sources / C. Rationalism / 1. Rationalism
Rationalism can be based on an evolved computational brain with innate structure
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 2. Associationism
According to empiricists abstraction is the fundamental mental process
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
Rationalists say there is more to a concept than the experience that prompts it
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / b. Purpose of mind
The function of a mind is obvious
Empirical approaches see mind connections as mirrors/maps of reality
15. Nature of Minds / B. Properties of Minds / 4. Intentionality / a. Nature of intentionality
Do intentional states explain our behaviour?
16. Persons / E. Self as Mind / 6. Self as Meta-awareness
If I have a set of mental modules, someone had better be in charge of them!
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 1. Functionalism
Functionalists see pains as properties involving relations and causation
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 3. Property Dualism
Why bother with neurons? You don't explain bird flight by examining feathers
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 1. Physicalism
Type physicalism is a stronger claim than token physicalism
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 4. Connectionism
Modern connectionism is just Hume's theory of the 'association' of 'ideas'
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 1. Thought
The goal of thought is to understand the world, not instantly sort it into conceptual categories
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 2. Mentalese
Mentalese may also incorporate some natural language
Language is ambiguous, but thought isn't
Mentalese doesn't require a theory of meaning
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 3. Modularity of Mind
Something must take an overview of the modules
Modules have encapsulation, inaccessibility, private concepts, innateness
Obvious modules are language and commonsense explanation
Modules have in-built specialist information
Modules analyse stimuli, they don't tell you what to do
Babies talk in consistent patterns
Blindness doesn't destroy spatial concepts
Modules make the world manageable
Rationality rises above modules
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
Content can't be causal role, because causal role is decided by content
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Ontology of Concepts / b. Concepts as abilities
Are concepts best seen as capacities?
For Pragmatists having a concept means being able to do something
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 5. Origin of Concepts / c. Nativist concepts
Experience can't explain itself; the concepts needed must originate outside experience
19. Language / A. Language / 7. Private Language
The theory of the content of thought as 'Mentalese' explains why the Private Language Argument doesn't work
19. Language / B. Meaning / 5. Meaning as Speaker's Intention
It seems unlikely that meaning can be reduced to communicative intentions, or any mental states
19. Language / B. Meaning / 9. Meaning Holism
If to understand "fish" you must know facts about them, where does that end?
19. Language / F. Analytic/Synthetic / 1. Analytic and Synthetic
Analysis is impossible without the analytic/synthetic distinction