•  462
    Systematicity and the Cognition of Structured Domains
    with Robert Cummins, David Byrd, Pierre Poirier, Martin Roth, and Georg Schwarz
    Journal of Philosophy 98 (4). 2001.
    The current debate over systematicity concerns the formal conditions a scheme of mental representation must satisfy in order to explain the systematicity of thought.1 The systematicity of thought is assumed to be a pervasive property of minds, and can be characterized (roughly) as follows: anyone who can think T can think systematic variants of T, where the systematic variants of T are found by permuting T’s constituents. So, for example, it is an alleged fact that anyone who can think the thoug…Read more
  •  421
    Representation and unexploited content
    with David Byrd, Robert C. Cummins, Alexa Lee, and Martin Roth
    In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics, Oxford University Press. 2006.
    In this paper, we introduce a novel difficulty for teleosemantics, viz., its inability to account for what we call unexploited content—content a representation has, but which the system that harbors it is currently unable to exploit. In section two, we give a characterization of teleosemantics. Since our critique does not depend on any special details that distinguish the variations in the literature, the characterization is broad, brief and abstract. In section three, we explain what we mean by…Read more
  •  70
    Searle’s Wall
    Erkenntnis 78 (1): 109-117. 2013.
    In addition to his famous Chinese Room argument, John Searle has posed a more radical problem for views on which minds can be understood as programs. Even his wall, he claims, implements the WordStar program according to the standard definition of implementation because there is some ‘‘pattern of molecule movements’’ that is isomorphic to the formal structure of WordStar. Program implementation, Searle charges, is merely observer-relative and thus not an intrinsic feature of the world. I argue, fi…Read more
  •  42
    What Systematicity Isn’t
    with Robert Cummins, David Byrd, Alexa Lee, and Martin Roth
    Journal of Philosophical Research 30 405-408. 2005.
    In “On Begging the Systematicity Question,” Wayne Davis criticizes the suggestion of Cummins et al. that the alleged systematicity of thought is not as obvious as is sometimes supposed, and hence not reliable evidence for the language of thought hypothesis. We offer a brief reply.
  •  37
    I. Background
    with Robert C. Cummins, David Byrd, Pierre Poirier, and Martin Roth
    The current debate over systematicity concerns the formal conditions a scheme of mental representation must satisfy in order to explain the systematicity of thought.1 The systematicity of thought is assumed to be a pervasive property of minds, and can be characterized (roughly) as follows: anyone who can think T can think systematic variants of T, where the systematic variants of T are found by permuting T’s constituents. So, for example, it is an alleged fact that anyone who can think the thoug…Read more
  •  35
  •  11
    What Systematicity Isn’t: Reply to Davis
    with Robert Cummins, David Byrd, Alexa Lee, and Martin Roth
    Journal of Philosophical Research 30 405-408. 2005.
    In “On Begging the Systematicity Question,” Wayne Davis criticizes the suggestion of Cummins et al. that the alleged systematicity of thought is not as obvious as is sometimes supposed, and hence not reliable evidence for the language of thought hypothesis. We offer a brief reply.