Reference And Computation An Essay In Applied Philosophy Of Language
Also potentially misleading is the description of Mentalese asa language, which suggests that all Mentalese symbolsresemble expressions in a natural language. Many philosophers,including Fodor, sometimes seem to endorse that position. However,there are possible non-propositional formats for Mentalesesymbols. Proponents of CCTM+RTM can adopt a pluralistic line, allowingmental computation to operate over items akin to images, maps,diagrams, or other non-propositional representations (Johnson-Laird2004: 187; McDermott 2001: 69; Pinker 2005: 7; Sloman 1978:144–176). The pluralistic line seems especially plausible asapplied to subpersonal processes (such as perception) and non-humananimals. Michael Rescorla (2009a,b) surveys research on cognitivemaps (Tolman 1948; O’Keefe and Nadel 1978; Gallistel 1990),suggesting that some animals may navigate by computing over mentalrepresentations more similar to maps than sentences. Elisabeth Camp(2009), citing researchon baboon social interaction (Cheney and Seyfarth2007), argues thatbaboons may encode social dominance relations through non-sententialtree-structured representations.
Reference and computation an essay in applied philosophy of language
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Reference (Linguistics) Computational linguistics, Speech acts (Linguistics) Language and languages Philosophy
This book deals with a major problem in the study of language: the problem of reference. The ease with which we refer to things in conversation is deceptive. Upon closer scrutiny, it turns out that we hardly ever tell each other explicitly what object we mean, although we expect our interlocutor to discern it. Amichai Kronfeld provides an answer to two questions associated with this: how do we successfully refer, and how can a computer be programmed to achieve this? Beginning with the major theories of reference, Dr Kronfeld provides a consistent philosophical view which is a synthesis of Frege's and Russell's semantic insights with Grice's and Searle's pragmatic theories. This leads to a set of guiding principles, which are then applied to a computational model of referring. The discussion is made accessible to readers from a number of backgrounds: in particular, students and researchers in the areas of computational linguistics, artificial intelligence and the philosophy of language will want to read this book.