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L14 Mar 17.doc

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Mohan Matthen

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PHL340thMarch 17Lecture 14Before we concludeLanguage of Thoughtheres the problem our minds are semantic enginesmeans that we have thoughts those thoughts are directed towards propositions and the way that our minds work the way that one thought gives rise to another or actionthat depends on what propositions our thoughts are directed towardsoone important way that is true when we have a logical progression of thoughts ex if you think it is unlikely that John will come to the party then you presumably will think that John will come to the party with his gf because the probability of him coming to the party with his gf is less than the probability that he is coming to the partyothat is how your mind is a semantic enginepropositions are abstract entitiesthey dont have causal powersoso we dont have an account of how abstract entities like propositions can govern or regulate the progression of thoughts in the mindothats the problem of semantic enginesthe language of thought hypothesis is supposed to give you an answer of how a semantic engine could be governed this waythought and thinking take place in a mental language the language of thought LOTosupposed to be a language that governs your thoughts right from the startthis language is physically realized in each human thinkereach thought is directed towards a proposition and each proposition has the synthetic structure grammar but it also has semantics ex meaning means somethingoperations on these representations are sensitive to their syntaxthe propositions that minds are semantic engines says that What are the 2 hypothesisthe basic idea we all have the same language of thought but we can learn different languagesois it the humans capability to learn languagehypothesis language had to be innate becauseChomsky saw language learning as very predictableinfants learn language at a more or less predictable timetablethe poverty of the stimulusthe sample of language to which infants are exposed is extremely poor
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