•  2
    Georges Rey presents a much-needed philosophical defense of Noam Chomsky's famous view of human language, as an internal, innate computational system. But he also offers a critical examination of problematic developments of this view, to do with innateness, ontology, intentionality, and other issues of interdisciplinary interest.
  •  2
    Blackwell Companion to Chomsky (edited book)
    Wiley-Blackwell. forthcoming.
  •  26
    Taking Consciousness Seriously-- as an Illusion
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12): 197-214. 2016.
    I supplement Frankish's defence of illusionism by pressing a point I've made elsewhere regarding how actual computational proposals in psychology for conscious processes could be run on desktop computers that most people wouldn't regard as conscious. I distinguish the w-consciousness of such a desktop from the s-consciousness people think humans but no such machines enjoy, which gives rise to an explanatory gap, invites first scepticism, unwanted analgesia, and is not supported by Cartesian intr…Read more
  •  18
    Analytic, A Priori, False - And Maybe Non-Conceptual
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (2): 85-110. 2014.
    I argue that there are analytic claims that, if true, can be known a priori, but which also can turn out to be false: they are expressive of merely default instructions from the language faculty to the conceptual system, which may be overridden by pragmatic or scientific considerations, in which case, of course, they would not be known at all, a priori or otherwise. More surprisingly, I also argue that they might not be, strictly speaking, conceptual: concepts may be importantly different from t…Read more
  •  35
    Remembering Jerry Fodor and his work
    Mind and Language 33 (4): 321-341. 2018.
  •  63
    Resisting Primitive CompulsionsA Study of Concepts (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2): 419. 1996.
    I’m sympathetic to a great deal of Peacocke’s project: that possession of a concept should require it playing a certain role in thought; that semantic determination should be treated separately from concept possession; that certain concepts are defective by virtue of eluding sufficient determination or specification: such claims seems to me right, important, and too little appreciated on my side of the Atlantic.
  •  4
    The Turing thesis vs. the Turing test
    The Philosophers' Magazine 57 84-89. 2012.
  •  10
    The Unavailability of What We Mean: A Reply to Quine, Fodor and LePore
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 46 (1): 61-101. 1993.
    Fodor and LePore's attack on conceptual role semantics relies on Quine's attack on the traditional analytic/synthetic and a priori/a posteriori distinctions, which in turn consists of four arguments: an attack on truth by convention; an appeal to revisability; a claim of confirmation holism; and a charge of explanatory vacuity. Once the different merits of these arguments are sorted out, their proper target can be seen to be not the Traditional Distinctions, but an implicit assumption about thei…Read more
  •  5
    Dennett’s Unrealistic Psychology
    Philosophical Topics 22 (1/2): 259-289. 1994.
  •  3
    A question about consciousness
    In Herbert R. Otto & James A. Tuedio (eds.), Perspectives on Mind, Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1986.
  •  51
    In her recent (2009) book, The Origins of Concepts, Susan Carey argues that what she calls ‘Quinean Bootstrapping’ and processes of analogy in children show that the expressive power of a mind can be increased in ways that refute Jerry Fodor's (1975, 2008) ‘Mad Dog’ view that all concepts are innate. I argue that it is doubtful any evidence about the manifestation of concepts in children will bear upon the logico-semantic issues of expressive power. Analogy and bootstrapping may be ways to bring…Read more
  •  1
    Sensational sentences
    In Martin Davies & Glyn W. Humphreys (eds.), Consciousness: Philosophical and Psychological Essays, Blackwell. 1993.
  •  10
    Resisting normativism in psychology
    In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind, Blackwell. 2007.
    “Intentional content,” as I understand it, is whatever serves as the object of “propositional” attitude verbs, such as “think,” “judge,” “represent,” “prefer” (whether or not these objects are “propositions”). These verbs are standardly used to pick out the intentional states invoked to explain the states and behavior of people and many animals. I shall take the “normativity of the intentional,” or “Normativism,” to be the claim that any adequate theory of intentional states involves considerati…Read more
  •  17
  •  27
    Better to study human than world psychology
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (10-11): 110-116. 2006.
    Commentary on Galen Strawson's 'Realistic Monism: Why Physicalism Entails Panpsychism'.
  •  49
    Language, Music and Mind
    Philosophical Review 106 (4): 641. 1997.
    The central point of Raffman’s discussion is to distinguish the perception, knowledge, and effability of the standard chromatic “categorical” pitch events from what she calls “nuance” pitch events—events whose individuation is more fine-grained than C-events, and which seem to resist reliable, psychologically available categorization. Thus, two pitches a quarter-tone apart may be classified as the same C-event, even though they are different N-events. Experimental evidence suggests that whereas …Read more
  •  56
    Fodor and LePore's attack on conceptual role semantics relies on Quine's attack on the traditional analytic/synthetic and a priori/a posteriori distinctions, which in turn consists of four arguments: an attack on truth by convention; an appeal to revisability; a claim of confirmation holism; and a charge of explanatory vacuity. Once the different merits of these arguments are sorted out, their proper target can be seen to be not the Traditional Distinctions, but an implicit assumption about thei…Read more
  •  87
    A Naturalistic A Priori
    Philosophical Studies 92 (1/2). 1998.
  •  1
    Functionalism and the Emotions
    In A. O. Rorty (ed.), Explaining Emotions, Univ of California Pr. pp. 21. 1980.
  •  6
    Transcending paradigms
    Metaphilosophy 21 (4): 447-455. 1990.
  •  43
    Dennett’s Unrealistic Psychology
    Philosophical Topics 22 (1/2): 259-89. 1994.