Wittgenstein And Computationalism

S. Jack Odell

Abstract



The Chomsky inspired, Fodor led, M.I.T. contingent-the mainstream force in cognitive
science-believes that traditional philosophical puzzles concerning meaning, knowing,
believing, etc. can be solved by scientific means. Wittgenstein rejects their faith
in the efficacy of science to solve certain philosophical problems, problems that he
considers to be pseudo problems. In this essay I will first explicate what I consider
to be the essence of Wittgenstein's views regarding symbolic representation. I will
then argue that although much that Wittgenstein said in the Investigations is
inconsistent with the Chomsky/Fodor computationalistic approach, a restrained
reconciliation between Wittgenstein and the cognitive scientists can perhaps be
achieved.

Keywords


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; computationalism; tripartite theory of meaning; symbolic representation; innate language; folk psychology; ordinary language; cognitive science; contextual parameter; inner process; computational process

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