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Jerry Alan Fodor

(b. 1935)

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(1935– )

American philosopher of mind. Born in New York city and educated at Columbia and Princeton, Fodor teaches at Rutgers and the City University of New York. He is known for a resolute realism about the nature of mental functioning. Taking the analogy between thought and computation seriously, Fodor believes that mental representations should be conceived as individual states with their own identitiesand structures, like formulae transformed by processes of computation or thought. His views are frequently contrasted with those of holists such as Davidson, or instrumentalists about mental ascription, such as Dennett. In recent years he has become a vocal critic of some of the aspirations of cognitive science. Works include The Language of Thought (1975), The Modularity of Mind (1983), Psychosemantics (1987), The Elm and the Expert (1994), Concepts: Where Cognitive Science went wrong (1998), and Hume Variations (2003).

Subjects: Philosophy

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