Single Idea 12640

[catalogued under 18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 1. Thought]

Full Idea

The virtue of associative theories of thinking is that they don't require thoughts to have syntactic structure. But they can't be right, since association doesn't preserve either sense or reference (to say nothing of truth).

Gist of Idea

Associative thinking avoids syntax, but can't preserve sense, reference or truth


Jerry A. Fodor (LOT 2 [2008], Ch.3.3 n28)

Book Reference

Fodor,Jerry A.: 'LOT 2: the Language of Thought Revisited' [OUP 2008], p.63

A Reaction

This is using the empiricist idea that knowledge is built from mechanical associations to give a complete account of what thinking is. Fodor resolutely opposes it.