On Fodor's Problem
Peter Carruthers, "On Fodor's Problem," Mind and Language, Vol. 18 No. 5 November 2003, p. 502-523.
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This paper sketches a solution to a problem which has been emphasized by Fodor. This is the problem of how to explain distinctively-human flexible cognition in modular terms. There are three aspects to the proposed account. First, it is suggested that natural language sentences might serve to integrate the outputs of a number of conceptual modules. Second, a creative sentence-generator, or supposer, is postulated. And third, it is argued that a set of principles of inference to the best explanation can be constructed from already-extant aspects of linguistic testimony and discourse interpretation. Most importantly, it is suggested that the resulting architecture should be implementable in ways that are computationally tractable.