Ideas from 'Jerry A. Fodor on himself' by Jerry A. Fodor [1994], by Theme Structure

[found in 'A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind' (ed/tr Guttenplan,Samuel) [Blackwell 1995,0-631-19996-9]].

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12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 2. Associationism
Associations are held to connect Ideas together in the way the world is connected together
                        Full Idea: The laws of associations were held to explicate the semantic coherence of intentional processes, which adjust the causal relations among Ideas to reflect corresponding relations among the things that they're ideas of.
                        From: Jerry A. Fodor (Jerry A. Fodor on himself [1994], p.296)
                        A reaction: With the support of evolution, and the backing of a correspondence theory of truth, plus more sophistication in the associations, this might work.
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories
Intentional science needs objects with semantic and causal properties, and which obey laws
                        Full Idea: If there is to be an intentional science, there must be semantically evaluable things which have causal powers, and there must be laws relating beliefs and desires to one another, and to actions.
                        From: Jerry A. Fodor (Jerry A. Fodor on himself [1994], p.293)
                        A reaction: The semantics and causation sound fair enough, but the prospect of finding laws looks bleak (though, contrary to Davidson, I don't see why they can't exist).
Intentional states and processes may be causal relations among mental symbols
                        Full Idea: It may be that intentional states are relations to mental symbols, and mental processes are implemented by causal relations among these symbols.
                        From: Jerry A. Fodor (Jerry A. Fodor on himself [1994], p.296)
                        A reaction: It is hard to see how something could have causal powers just by being a symbol. The theory needs something else to drive the causation.
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability
Most psychological properties seem to be multiply realisable
                        Full Idea: These days most philosophers of mind suppose that most psychological properties are multiply realisable.
                        From: Jerry A. Fodor (Jerry A. Fodor on himself [1994], p.298)
                        A reaction: This is just speculation. The physical part may seem very different, but turn out to be identical in the ways that matter (like a knife made of two different metals).
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 4. Folk Psychology
Folk psychology explains behaviour by reference to intentional states like belief and desire
                        Full Idea: Folk psychology is primarily intentional explanation; it's the idea that people's behaviour can be explained by reference to the contents of their beliefs and desires.
                        From: Jerry A. Fodor (Jerry A. Fodor on himself [1994], p.292)
                        A reaction: Sounds good. To reject folk psychology (as reductivists tend to) is to reject the existence of significant intentional states which have causal properties
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
How could the extrinsic properties of thoughts supervene on their intrinsic properties?
                        Full Idea: It is hard to see how the extrinsic properties of thoughts could supervene on their intrinsic properties.
                        From: Jerry A. Fodor (Jerry A. Fodor on himself [1994], p.299)
                        A reaction: This doesn't seem a big problem. Sometimes represented experiences establish the match; sometimes the match is not very good, or even wrong.
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 9. Counterfactual Claims
Laws are true generalisations which support counterfactuals and are confirmed by instances
                        Full Idea: Laws are true generalisations that support counterfactuals and are confirmed by their instances.
                        From: Jerry A. Fodor (Jerry A. Fodor on himself [1994], p.293)
                        A reaction: This seems correct, but it doesn't disentangle laws as mental states from laws as features of nature