The present discussion parallels what I regard as a very deep passage in Schiffer

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So, then, which appearance properties are sensory properties? Here’s a line that one might consider: £ is a sensory property only if it is possible to have an experience of which £-ness is the intentional object (e.g. an experience (as) of red) even though one hasn’t got the concept £ Here the test of having the concept £ would be something like beingable to think thoughts whose truth conditions include … £ … (e.g. thoughts like that’s red). I think this must be the notion of ‘sensory property’ that underlies the Empiricistidea that RED and the like are learned ‘by abstraction’ from experience, a doctrine which presupposes that a mind that lacks RED can none the less have experiences (as) ofredness. By this test, DOORKNOB is presumably not a sensory concept since, though it is perfectly possible to have an experience (as) of doorknobs, I suppose only a mindthat has the concept DOORKNOB can do so.‘But how could one have an experience (as) of red if one hasn’t got the concept RED?’ It‘s easy: in the case of redness, but notof doorknobhood, one is equipped with sensory organs which produce such experiences when they are appropriately stimulated. Redness can be sensed, whereas the perceptualdetection of doorknobhood is always inferential. Just as sensible psychologists have always supposed.

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The present discussion parallels what I regard as a very deep passage in Schiffer 1987 about being a dog. Schiffer takes for granted that ‘dog’ doesn’t name a species, and (hence?) that dogs as such don’t have a hidden essence. His conclusion is that there just isn’t (except pleonastically) any such property as being a dog My diagnosis is thatthere is too, but it’s mind-dependent.

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Reminder: ‘the X stereotype’ is rigid. See n. 12 above.

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Except in the (presumably never encountered) case where all the X s are stereotypic. In that case, there’s a dead heat.

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In principle, they are also epistemically independent in both directions. As things are now, we find out about the stereotype by doing tests on subjects who are independentlyidentified as having the corresponding concept. But I assume that if we knew enough about the mind/brain, we could predict a concept from its stereotype and vice versa. Ineffect, given the infinite set of actual and possible doorknobs, we could predict the stereotype from which our sorts of minds would generalize to it; and given the doorknobstereotype, we could predict the set of actual and possible objects which our kinds of minds would take to instantiate doorknobhood.

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Compare Jackendoff: “Look at the representations of, say, generative phonology… It is strange to say that English speakers know the proposition, true in the world independent of speakers [sic ], that syllable-initial voiceless consonants aspirate before stress … In generative phonology . . . this rule of aspiration is regarded as a principle of internalcomputation, not a fact about the world. Such semantical concepts as implication, confirmation, and logical consequence seem curiously irrelevant” (1992: 29). Note that,though they are confounded in his text, the contrast that Jackendoff is insisting on isn’t between propositions and rules/principles of computation; it’s between phenomena of thekind that generative phonology studies and facts about the world. But that ‘p’ is aspirated in ‘Patrick’ is a fact about the world. That is to say: it’s a fact. And of course the usuallogico-semantical concepts apply. That ‘p’ is aspirated in ‘Patrick’ is what makes the claim that ‘p’ is aspirated in ‘Patrick’ true; since ‘p’ is aspirated in ‘Patrick’, something in‘Patrick’ is aspirated . . . and so forth.

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In just this spirit, Keith Campbell remarks about colours that if they are “integrated reflectances across three overlapping segments clustered in the middle of the total electromagnetic spectrum, then they are, from the inanimate point of view, such highly arbitrary and idiosyncratic properties that it is no wonder the particular colors we arefamiliar with are manifest only in transactions with humans, rhesus monkeys, and machines especially built to replicate just their particular mode of sensitivity to photons”(1990: 572—3). (The force of this observation is all the greater if, as seems likely, even the reflectance theory underestimates the complexity of colour psychophysics.)See alsoJ. J.Jean-marc pizano

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Actually, I don’t much care which you say, so long as you like the general picture. Suffice it that it’s quite in the spirit of informational semantics to decide to talk like this: Homer did have the concept WATER (he had a concept that isnomologically linked to beingwater) and, of course, beingwater isn’t a mind-dependent property. So Homer had a conceptof a natural kind. But WATER wasn’t, for Homer, a concept of a natural kind as such; and for us it is. We’re locked tobeingwater via a chemical-cum-metaphysical theory, that specifies its essence, and that is quite a different mechanism ofsemantic access from the ones that Homer relied on. In particular, the two ways of locking to water support quitedifferent counterfactuals. This shows up (inter alia) in the notorious thought experiments about Twin-Earth: we thinkthat XYZ wouldn’t be water; Homer wouldn’t have understood the question.

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Actually, I don’t much care which you say, so long as you like the general picture. Suffice it that it’s quite in the spirit of informational semantics to decide to talk like this: Homer did have the concept WATER (he had a concept that isnomologically linked to beingwater) and, of course, beingwater isn’t a mind-dependent property. So Homer had a conceptof a natural kind. But WATER wasn’t, for Homer, a concept of a natural kind as such; and for us it is. We’re locked tobeingwater via a chemical-cum-metaphysical theory, that specifies its essence, and that is quite a different mechanism ofsemantic access from the ones that Homer relied on. In particular, the two ways of locking to water support quitedifferent counterfactuals. This shows up (inter alia) in the notorious thought experiments about Twin-Earth: we thinkthat XYZ wouldn’t be water; Homer wouldn’t have understood the question.

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But an entirely informational and atomistic semantics can also do justice to the intuition that Homer had the same WATER concept as ours. All the metaphysics of concept possession requires, of our concept WATER or Homer’s, isbeing locked to water. If you are locked to water our way, you have the concept WATER as a natural kind concept; ifyou are locked to concept WATER Homer’s way, you have the concept WATER, but not as a natural kind concept.But, on a perfectly natural way of counting, if you are locked to water either way, you have the concept WATER. (Isuppose that God is locked to being water in still a third way; one that holds in every metaphysically possible world butisn’t theory-mediated. That’s OK with informational semantics; God can have the concept WATER too. He can‘t,however, have the pretheoretic concept WATER; the one that’s locked to water only by its superficial signs. Nobody’sPerfect.)

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If you’re lucky, you can have concepts of natural kinds on the cheap. Homer maybe didn’t need much to get WATER locked to water, maybe all he needed was innate detectors for the phenomenological properties which, in point ofnomological necessity, water has in all the worlds near to him (and us). But, of course, you only get what you pay for:Homer didn’t have the concept of water as a natural kind concept. To have that, he would need to have been locked tothe essence of water via the essence of water; that is, in a way that doesn’t depend on water’s superficial signs. Probably,de facto, all such lockings (except God’s) are theory-mediated; indeed, they are perhaps all metatheory-mediated; theymay well depend, de facto, on having not just concepts of natural kinds, but also the concepts NATURAL KIND andHIDDEN ESSENCE. Which nobody did until quite recently.

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But I want to emphasize what I take to be a main moral of the discussion: the ‘de facto’ matters. Just as IA says there are no concepts the possession of which is metaphysically necessary for having WATER (except WATER), so I’d like itto say that there are no concepts the possession of which is metaphysically necessary for having WATER as a naturalkind concept (except WATER); all that’s required is being locked to water in a way that doesn’t depend on its superficialsigns. But, of course, metaphysically necessary is one thing, on the cards is quite another. I’m quite prepared to believethat, de facto, until we had (indeed, had more or less self-consciously), the concepts that cluster around NATURALKIND, there was probably no way that we could link to WATER except the sort of way that Homer did and childrenand animals do; viz. via water’s metaphysically accidental but nomologically necessary properties. But now we have atheory that tells us what water is, and we are linked to water via our acceptance of that theory. Science discoversessences, and doing science thereby links us to natural kinds as such.

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I think, by the way, that the ethological analogies play out quite nicely on this sort of analysis. It’s natural and handy and, for most purposes harmless, to say that ducklings have the concept MOTHER DUCK innately; that malesticklebacks have the concept CONSPECIFIC RIVAL innately, and so on.Jean-marc pizano

So, then, consider a supplementedversion of IA (I’ll call it SIA) which says everything that IA does and also that concept possession is some kind oflocking. The question before us is whether SIA requires radical nativism.

Jean-marc pizano So, then, consider a supplementedversion of IA (I’ll call it SIA) which says everything that IA does and also that concept possession is some kind oflocking. The question before us is whether SIA requires radical nativism.

 

That learning how can’t depend on learning that in every

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case is, I suppose, the moral of Lewis Carroll’s story about Achilles and the tortoise: Carroll 1895/1995.

CogSci footnote: the present issue isn’t whether inferential capacities are ‘declarative’ rather than ‘procedural’; it’s whether they are interestingly analogous to skills. A cognitive architecture (like SOAR, for example) that is heavily committed to procedural representations is not thereby required to suppose that drawing inferences has muchin common with playing basketball or the piano. Say, if you like, that someone who accepts the inference from P to Q has the habit of accepting Q if he accepts P. Butthis sort of ‘habit’ involves a relation among one’s propositional attitudes and, prima facie, being able to play the piano doesn’t.

Concepts aren’t skills, of course; concepts are mental particulars. In particular, they are the constituents of beliefs, whereas skills can’t be the constituents of anything except other skills. But though all this is so, the argument in the text doesn’t presuppose it.

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Notice that the question before us is not whether SIA permits radical nativism; it’s patent that it does. According to SIA, having a concept is being locked to a property. Well, being locked to a property is having a disposition, and thoughperhaps there are some dispositions that must be acquired, hence can’t be innate, nothing I’ve heard of argues thatbeing locked to a property is one of them. If, in short, you require your metaphysical theory of concept possession toentail the denial of radical nativism, SIA won’t fill your bill. (I don’t see how any metaphysics could, short of questionbegging, since the status of radical nativism is surely an empirical issue. Radical nativism may be false, but I doubt thatit is, in any essential way, confused.) But if, you’re prepared to settle for a theory of concepts that is plausibly compatiblewith the denial of radical nativism, maybe we can do some business.

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If you assume SIA, and hence the locking model of concept possession, you thereby deny that learning concepts necessarily involves acquiring beliefs. And if you deny that learning concepts necessarily involves acquiring beliefs, thenyou can’t assume that hypothesis testing is an ingredient in concept acquisition. It is, as I keep pointing out, primarilycognitivism about the metaphysics of concept possession that motivates inductivism about the psychology of conceptacquisition: hypothesis testing is the natural assumption about how beliefs are acquired from experience. But if it can’tbe assumed that concept acquisition is ipso facto belief acquisition, then it can’t be assumed that locking DOORKNOBto doorknobhood requires a mediating hypothesis. And if it can’t be assumed that locking DOORKNOB to doorknobhoodrequires a mediating hypothesis, then, a fortiori, it can’t be assumed that it requires a mediating hypothesis in which theconcept DOORKNOB is itself deployed. In which case, for all that the Standard Argument shows, DOORKNOBcould be both primitive and not innate.

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This maybe starts to sound a little hopeful; but not, I’m afraid, for very long. The discussion so far has underestimated the polemical resources that SA has available. In particular, there is an independent argument that seems to show thatconcept acquisition has to be inductive, whether or not the metaphysics of concept possession is cognitivist, so SA gets its inductivistpremiss even if SIA is right that having a concept doesn’t require having beliefs. The moral would then be that, thougha non-cognitivist account of concept possession may be necessary for RTM to avoid radical nativism, it’s a long wayfrom being sufficient.

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In short, Patient Reader, the Standard Argument’s way of getting radical nativism goes like this:

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(1) cognitivism about concept possession ^ (2) inductivist (i.e.

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hypothesis-testing) model of concept learning ^ (3) primitive concepts can’t be learned.

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SIA denies (1), thereby promising to block the standard argument. If, however, there’s some other source for (2)—some plausible premiss to derive it from that doesn’t assume a cognitivist metaphysics of concept possession—then thestandard argument is back in business.

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You would still have the worry which Tuesday-relatedconcepts are primitive and which are defined. Is it that Tuesday is the second day of the week (in which caseTUESDAY is the definiendum and . . . WEEK … is the definiens)? Or is it that a week is seven consecutive days, ofwhich the second is Tuesday (in which case, the primitive/defined relation goes the other way around)? The same sortof question crops up, of course, with regard to kinship terms, chess terms, and the like. Whenever you get a littlefamily of jargon vocabulary, the intuition is that the application of some of the terms depends on inferences from theapplicability of others, but that it doesn’t matter much which you take as primitive. It used to be that philosophersthought this decision might be made on the principle that the relatively primitive concept is the one that’s closer tosensations. These days, however, not even the friends of definitions think that this project has a prayer.44

Jean-marc pizano You would still have the worry which Tuesday-relatedconcepts are primitive and which are defined. Is it that Tuesday is the second day of the week (in which caseTUESDAY is the definiendum and . . . WEEK … is the definiens)? Or is it that a week is seven consecutive days, ofwhich the second is Tuesday (in which case, the primitive/defined relation goes the other way around)? The same sortof question crops up, of course, with regard to kinship terms, chess terms, and the like. Whenever you get a littlefamily of jargon vocabulary, the intuition is that the application of some of the terms depends on inferences from theapplicability of others, but that it doesn’t matter much which you take as primitive. It used to be that philosophersthought this decision might be made on the principle that the relatively primitive concept is the one that’s closer tosensations. These days, however, not even the friends of definitions think that this project has a prayer.44

 

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My story about this says what I really do think one’s story ought to say: such questions haven’t got answers. What’s being delivered by (e.g.) the intuition that pawns are conceptually connected to queens is not the internal structure of aconcept (it’s not that the concept QUEEN has the concept PAWN as a constituent or vice versa). What you’reintuiting is really something epistemic: that the usual ways that PAWN gets semantic access to pawnhood all run viainferences involving one or other member of quite a small family. In consequence, although the connections of

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PAWN to the other members of this family no doubt strike one as conceptual, none of these connections is intuited as clearly definitional rather than merely necessary; and none of the concepts involved is clearly intuited as primitiverather than defined. This situation would be paradoxical if the intuitions were detecting definitional relations. But theyaren’t, so it isn’t.

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I’m suggesting that intuitions of conceptual connectedness are a sort of normal illusion; they depend on an understandable conflation between an epistemic property and a semantic one. In this respect, what I say aboutanalyticity intuitions is, of course, a lot like what Quine says; except that he takes the epistemic property to be centralitywhereas I think it’s one-criterionhood. I doubt that either story covers all the cases, and there’s no obvious reason whythey shouldn’t both be true. After all, the moral of both is that intuitions of analyticity are misguided; and, as Aristotlepointed out a while ago, there are generally lots of ways for an arrow to miss the target.

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Conclusion

So, then, where have we got to? The best philosophical argument for analyticity used to be necessity/a prioricity (the tradition I have in mind generally didn’t distinguish between them). Positivism, in particular, took it for granted that apriori truths must be necessary, and that if there is necessity, it has to be linguistic/conceptual. Carnap and Quine splitthe available options between them. According to Carnap, some truths are necessary and a priori, so some must beanalytic. According to Quine, no truths are analytic, so none can be either necessary or a priori. It was, quite distinctly,a family squabble. Over the last several decades, however, it has come to seem increasingly implausible that necessarytruths could be analytic in the general case. Correspondingly, the best defence of analyticity now turns on a directappeal to intuition: some necessities strike one as conceptual; the analytic truths are the ones that elicit intuitions of thatsort.

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No doubt, intuitions deserve respect. As Grice and Strawson pointed out (1956), if people agree that As are different from Bs, and if they agree on which is which in novel cases, that’s strong prima facie evidence As and Bs really aredifferent in some way or other. But thatAs and Bs are different is one thing; what they differ in is quite another. And, infact, the difference often turns out to be not at all what informants suppose. Informants, oneself included, can be quiteawful at saying what it is that drives their intuitions; sometimes it’s just a fragment of underdone potato.

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This holds all the way from chicken sexing to judgements of grammatically and modality.Jean-marc pizano

Which, according to me, is also the conclusion that we should draw from theavailable nonphilosophical evidence. Convergence is bliss.

Jean-marc pizano Which, according to me, is also the conclusion that we should draw from theavailable nonphilosophical evidence. Convergence is bliss.

 

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This story I’m about to tell you needs, however, some heavy duty assumptions whose status is itself much in dispute. I propose to set these out in a relatively leisurely and extended way, hoping thereby to illuminate several aspects ofconceptual atomism as well as the present issues about the nature of analyticity intuitions. I claim for my assumptionsonly that none of them is known to be false. Beyond that, it’s the usual methodological situation: if my story is plausible,that argues for my assumptions; if my assumptions are plausible, that argues for my story. For the moment, all I ask isthe temporary suspension of your disbelief.

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First Assumption: Informational Semantics

I continue to take for granted, as I’ve been doing all along of course, that semantic facts are somehow constituted by nomic relations. To a zero’th approximation, the fact that DOG means dog (and hence the fact “dog” does) isconstituted by a nomic connection between two properties of dogs; viz. being dogs and being causes of actual and possibleDOG tokenings in us.3 As those of you who follow the literature on informational semantics will be aware, it‘s a littletricky to get the details of this nomological story about content just right. Never mind. My point will be the modestone that if informational semantics can be sustained, that would give us a leg up on accounting for such intuitions asthat it’s analytic that bachelors are unmarried and that Tuesdays come before Wednesdays.

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I hope you will find even this modest claim surprising. It’s generally thought that, because informational semantics is inherently atomistic, intuitions of intrinsic conceptual connectedness are among its chief embarrassments.Informational semantics denies that “dog” means dog because of the way that it is related to other linguisticexpressions (“animal” or “barks”, as it might be). Correspondingly, informational semantics denies that the conceptDOG has its content in virtue of its position in a network of conceptual relations. So, then, the intuition that there areother concepts that anybody who has DOG must also have is

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Since “dog” means dog, informational semantics requires that there be such a property as being a dog Mutatis mutandis, since “Tuesday” means Tuesday, informational semantics requires that there be such a property as being a Tuesday (a highly mind-dependent, highly relational property, presumably, of certain segments of space-time). Isympathize if you’re inclined to gag on this rich ontology. But that one should do the ontology last is among my religious principles, so please hold on till Chapter 6.

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one that informational semantics can make no sense of. Intuitions of conceptual connection are the bane of informational semantics; so goes the usual account of the geography. But, I want to redraw the map a little: it’s one question whetherinformational semantics rules out conceptual connections that are constitutive of concept possession. It does, andtherefore so do I. But it‘s quite a different question whether informational semantics rules out there being intuitions asof such conceptual connections. It doesn’t, and I don’t either. In fact, I think that there clearly are such intuitions andthat informational semantics helps explain them.

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I pause, while I’m at it, to rub in a distinction that keeps coming up, and that’s once again germane. What surely doesn’t embarrass informational semantics, not even prima facie, is the intuition that there is a necessary connection between beinga dog and being an animal, or between being a bachelor and being unmarried, or between being a Tuesday and being the day beforeWednesday. For informational semantics is a theory of content, and these necessities might all be viewed as metaphysicalrather than semantic. (For example, they might be supposed to arise out of property identities.)

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The problem for informational semantics comes not from intuitions that the connection between being Tuesday and coming before Wednesday is necessary, but from intuitions that it’s constitutive in the sense that one can’t have one of theconcepts unless one has the other. Compare water is H2O and two is prime. Presumably though both are necessary,neither is constitutive.Jean-marc pizano

In short, it is OK to bean atomist about the metaphysical conditions for a concept’s having satisfaction conditions (which I am and will try toconvince you to be too), and yet be a holist about the confirmation of claims that a certain concept is satisfied in acertain situation. Shorter still: just as Quine and Duhem and those guys taught us, there aren’t any criteria. So at least Ishall assume throughout what follows.

Jean-marc pizano In short, it is OK to bean atomist about the metaphysical conditions for a concept’s having satisfaction conditions (which I am and will try toconvince you to be too), and yet be a holist about the confirmation of claims that a certain concept is satisfied in acertain situation. Shorter still: just as Quine and Duhem and those guys taught us, there aren’t any criteria. So at least Ishall assume throughout what follows.

 

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3. Compositionality: concepts are the constituents of thoughts and, in indefinitely many cases, of one another.

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Mental representations inherit their contents from the contents of their constituents.

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Some terminology: I’ll use ‘thoughts’ as my cover term for the mental representations which, according to RTMs, express the propositions that are the objects of propositional attitudes. Thus, a belief that it will rain and a hope that it will rainshare a thought as well as a proposition which that thought expresses. For present purposes, it will do to think ofthoughts as mental representations analogous to closed sentences, and concepts as mental representations analogousto the corresponding open ones. It may strike you that mental representation is a lot like language, according to myversion of RTM. Quite so; how could language express thought if that were not the case?

Qua constituents of thoughts, and of each other, concepts play a certain role in explaining why the propositional attitudes are productive and systematic. The outlines of this story are well known, though by no means untendentious:

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Beliefs are productive in that there are infinitely many distinct ones that a person can entertain (given, of course, the usual abstraction from ‘performance limitations’). Beliefs are systematic in that the ability to entertain any one of them impliesthe ability to entertain many others that are related to it in content. It appears, for example, to be conceptually possiblethat there should be a mind that is able to grasp the proposition that Mary loves John but not able to grasp theproposition that John loves Mary. But, in point of empirical fact, it appears that there are no such minds. This sort ofsymmetry of cognitive capacities is a ubiquitous feature of mental life.19 It implies a corresponding symmetry ofrepresentational capacities since RTM says, ‘no cognition without representation’. That is, RTM says that you can’tgrasp a proposition without entertaining a thought.

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So, the question presents itself: what must mental representation be like if it is to explain the productivity and systematicity of beliefs? This question is loaded, to be sure: that the systematicity of the attitudes requires thesystematicity of mental representation doesn’t itself require that the systematicity of mental representation is whatexplains the systematicity of the attitudes. Perhaps both are the effects of a common cause. Maybe, for example, ‘theworld’ somehow teaches the mind to be systematic, and the systematicity of mental representation is the by-product ofits doing so.

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The stumbling-block for this sort of suggestion is that the mind is much more systematic than the world: that John loves Mary doesn’t make it true, or even very likely, that Mary reciprocates. Sad for John, of course, but where wouldThe Western Canon be if things were otherwise? In fact, the only thing in the world that is as systematic as thought islanguage. Accordingly, some philosophers (Dan Dennett 1993 in particular) have suggested that it’s learning languagethat makes a mind systematic.

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But we aren’t told how an initially unsystematic mind could learn a systematic language, given that the latter is ipso facto able to express propositions that the former is unable to entertain. How, for example, does a mind that can think thatJohn loves Mary but not that Mary loves John learn a language that is able to say both? Nor is it clear what could makelanguage itself systematic if not the systematicity of the thoughts that it is used to express; so the idea that the mind learnssystematicity from language just sweeps the problem from under the hall rug to under the rug in the parlour. Onbalance, I think we had better take it for granted,

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It bears emphasis that systematicity concerns symmetries of cognitive capacities, not of actual mental states. It is, for example, patently not the case that whoever thinks that Mary loves John also thinks that John loves Mary.Jean-marc pizano

The present discussion parallels what I regard as a very deep passage in Schiffer

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30

So, then, which appearance properties are sensory properties? Here’s a line that one might consider: £ is a sensory property only if it is possible to have an experience of which £-ness is the intentional object (e.g. an experience (as) of red) even though one hasn’t got the concept £ Here the test of having the concept £ would be something like beingable to think thoughts whose truth conditions include … £ … (e.g. thoughts like that’s red). I think this must be the notion of ‘sensory property’ that underlies the Empiricistidea that RED and the like are learned ‘by abstraction’ from experience, a doctrine which presupposes that a mind that lacks RED can none the less have experiences (as) ofredness. By this test, DOORKNOB is presumably not a sensory concept since, though it is perfectly possible to have an experience (as) of doorknobs, I suppose only a mindthat has the concept DOORKNOB can do so.‘But how could one have an experience (as) of red if one hasn’t got the concept RED?’ It‘s easy: in the case of redness, but notof doorknobhood, one is equipped with sensory organs which produce such experiences when they are appropriately stimulated. Redness can be sensed, whereas the perceptualdetection of doorknobhood is always inferential. Just as sensible psychologists have always supposed.

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The present discussion parallels what I regard as a very deep passage in Schiffer 1987 about being a dog. Schiffer takes for granted that ‘dog’ doesn’t name a species, and (hence?) that dogs as such don’t have a hidden essence. His conclusion is that there just isn’t (except pleonastically) any such property as being a dog My diagnosis is thatthere is too, but it’s mind-dependent.

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32

Reminder: ‘the X stereotype’ is rigid. See n. 12 above.

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Except in the (presumably never encountered) case where all the X s are stereotypic. In that case, there’s a dead heat.

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In principle, they are also epistemically independent in both directions. As things are now, we find out about the stereotype by doing tests on subjects who are independentlyidentified as having the corresponding concept. But I assume that if we knew enough about the mind/brain, we could predict a concept from its stereotype and vice versa. Ineffect, given the infinite set of actual and possible doorknobs, we could predict the stereotype from which our sorts of minds would generalize to it; and given the doorknobstereotype, we could predict the set of actual and possible objects which our kinds of minds would take to instantiate doorknobhood.

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Compare Jackendoff: “Look at the representations of, say, generative phonology… It is strange to say that English speakers know the proposition, true in the world independent of speakers [sic ], that syllable-initial voiceless consonants aspirate before stress … In generative phonology . . . this rule of aspiration is regarded as a principle of internalcomputation, not a fact about the world. Such semantical concepts as implication, confirmation, and logical consequence seem curiously irrelevant” (1992: 29). Note that,though they are confounded in his text, the contrast that Jackendoff is insisting on isn’t between propositions and rules/principles of computation; it’s between phenomena of thekind that generative phonology studies and facts about the world. But that ‘p’ is aspirated in ‘Patrick’ is a fact about the world. That is to say: it’s a fact. And of course the usuallogico-semantical concepts apply. That ‘p’ is aspirated in ‘Patrick’ is what makes the claim that ‘p’ is aspirated in ‘Patrick’ true; since ‘p’ is aspirated in ‘Patrick’, something in‘Patrick’ is aspirated . . . and so forth.

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36

In just this spirit, Keith Campbell remarks about colours that if they are “integrated reflectances across three overlapping segments clustered in the middle of the total electromagnetic spectrum, then they are, from the inanimate point of view, such highly arbitrary and idiosyncratic properties that it is no wonder the particular colors we arefamiliar with are manifest only in transactions with humans, rhesus monkeys, and machines especially built to replicate just their particular mode of sensitivity to photons”(1990: 572—3). (The force of this observation is all the greater if, as seems likely, even the reflectance theory underestimates the complexity of colour psychophysics.)See alsoJ. J.Jean-marc pizano