Re: [quickphilosophy] Re: Fodor on Concepts IV: Circularity + Peacocke

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 12:40:30 -0700 (PDT)

I agree. I don't see the truth table as containing an 'and' within it. But, 
Fodor is aware that Peacocke is trying to carefully avoid circularity, and 
tries to pin him with the charge of circularity at a deeper level (this is on 
p. 44 where Fodor begins the John & Mary swim argument). I'm thinking that 
Fodor's argument there is incorrect, and I hope to get to that a little later 
Yes, as I understand the LOT, it would justify these types of definitions. You 
already have a CONJUNCTION concept built into your brain at birth. 
But, what I'm wondering with the Language Of Thought is that it seems like you 
could argue that for easy logical concepts, like AND and OR and NOT, but what 
about odd ones like the material conditional? This is something a lot of people 
have trouble with, and the only way to teach is by the truth table. There is no 
LOT item for p -> q for a lot of people. 

--- On Fri, 10/1/10, walto <calhorn@xxxxxxx> wrote:

From: walto <calhorn@xxxxxxx>
Subject: [quickphilosophy] Re: Fodor on Concepts IV: Circularity + Peacocke
To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Friday, October 1, 2010, 12:05 PM


--- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Ron Allen <wavelets@...> wrote:
> As a pole around which to argue about types of circular reasoning, Fodor 
> introduces another rule (R) in his polemic against Peacocke:
> (R) the inference to 'p and q' is valid iff p and q are both true
> Now, this appears to be circular, because the elucidation of what 'p and q' 
> should mean relies on an instance of "and". Fodor goes on to say that there's 
> basically (almost) nothing wrong with this, because the second instance of 
> 'and' is a metalanguage element. In fact, Fodor says that as long as this is 
> a theory of the content of AND, it's all right to rely on an instance of AND 
> in the metalanguage. But, to be precise, Fodor argues, it's not OK for a 
> theory about how AND is learned to presuppose a language with the concept of 
> conjuction already present. >This would be a circular argument.

I still don't see why the replication of a truth table commits this fallacy. 
But, in any case, wouldn't Fodor's "language of thought" itself be a language 
that allows for 'and' to be learned precisely because it contains a concept of 
conjunction itself?


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