The Representational Theory Of Mind Essays

1999 Words Apr 22nd, 2015 8 Pages
In this essay I shall outline the Representational Theory of Mind, and in doing so, will explore some of its key features, and concepts that are implicit in the theory. I will give particular attention to Fodor and his (1975) Language of Thought Hypothesis, wherein cognition involves the medium of representation, sharing its central properties with principles found in linguistics. I will then describe reasons for thinking that all of cognition is representational, focusing on Fodor 's processing argument, which is grounded on the nature of cognition, with its essential characteristics of productivity and systematicity. The cognitive act of rational choice and the requirements for such a capacity will also be examined. Furthermore, after exploring such requirements, I will approach the question of how non-representational cognition could be possible. Finally, I will then conclude that we do in fact have reasons for thinking that all of cognition is representational, and that these are good reasons for believing so.

According to Bechtel (1993: 127-128) and Fodor (1975), the representational theory of mind, at its foundation, sees the brain as a computational device. That is, the brain is a type of computer, and our mental processes are its computations (Horst 2011). Additionally, the theory affirms that our mental states, such as perceptions, thoughts, and imaginings, are intentional, in the sense that they are about things, whether external objects or internal…

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