• 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.
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    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
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    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
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    Remembering Jerry Fodor and his work
    Mind and Language 33 (4): 321-341. 2018.
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    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.
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    The Turing thesis vs. the Turing test
    The Philosophers' Magazine 57 84-89. 2012.
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    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
  •  4
    Dennett’s Unrealistic Psychology
    Philosophical Topics 22 (1/2): 259-289. 1994.
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    Transcending paradigms
    Metaphilosophy 21 (4): 447-455. 1990.
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    Functionalism and the Emotions
    In A. O. Rorty (ed.), Explaining Emotions, Univ of California Pr. pp. 21. 1980.
  •  42
    Dennett’s Unrealistic Psychology
    Philosophical Topics 22 (1/2): 259-89. 1994.
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    Systematicity and intentional realism in honeybee navigation
    with Michael Tetzlafir
    In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds, Cambridge University Press. pp. 72. 2009.
  •  64
    Conventions, Intuitions and Linguistic Inexistents: A Reply to Devitt
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3): 549-569. 2006.
    Elsewhere I have argued that standard theories of linguistic competence are committed to taking seriously talk of “representations of” standard linguistic entities (“SLEs”), such as NPs, VPs, morphemes, phonemes, syntactic and phonetic features. However, it is very doubtful there are tokens of these “things” in space and time. Moreover, even if were, their existence would be completely inessential to the needs of either communication or serious linguistic theory. Their existence is an illusion: …Read more
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    Quinity, isotropy, and Wagnerian rapture
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (1): 27-28. 1985.
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    Shoemaker presented a priori arguments against the possibility of ‘self‐blindness’, or the inability of someone, otherwise intelligent and possessed of mental concepts, to introspect any of her concurrent attitude states. Ironically enough, this seems to be a position that Gopnik and Carruthers have proposed as not only possible, but as the actual human condition generally! According to this ‘Objectivist’ view, supposed introspection of one's attitudes is not ‘direct’, but an ‘inference’ of prec…Read more
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  •  2
    Metacognition and consciousness [Special issue]
    with T. O. Nelson
    Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2 pt 1): 2000-0433. 2000.
  • Intentional content and a chomskian linguistics
    In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of Language, Oxford University Press. pp. 140--186. 2003.
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    Sanity surrounded by madness
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1): 48-50. 1988.
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    Concepts versus conceptions (again)
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3): 221-222. 2010.
    Machery neglects the crucial role of concepts in psychological explanation, as well as the efforts of numerous of the last 40 years to provide an account of that role. He rightly calls attention to the wide variation in people's epistemic relations to concepts but fails to appreciate how externalist and kindred proposals offer the needed stability in concepts themselves that underlies that variation
  •  40
    Review of Edouard Machery, Doing Without Concepts (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (7). 2009.
  •  327
    What’s Really Going On in Searle’s “Chinese room‘
    Philosophical Studies 50 (September): 169-85. 1986.