ENOUGH WITH THE NORMS ALREADY!

Jerry Fodor

Abstract


There is a robust philosophical/psychological tradition, dating at least from the associationism of the British empiricists, that seeks to provide a naturalistic and reductionistic account of the semantic/intensional properties of languages and minds. But the received view among ‘analytic’ philosophers, especially those influenced by Wittgenstein, is that this project can’t be carried out; the semantic/intentional is ‘autonomous’ with respect to naturalistic discourse. This talk will discuss three of the standard grounds for this kind of anti-reductionism. I'll argue that none of them is fully convincing; in particular, that the prospects for a causal reduction of linguistic/mental reference are distinctly better than is generally supposed.

Keywords


20th century philosophy; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; language; naturalism; norm; philosophy of mind; psychology

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