, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 275-296

Conceptual dependency as the language of thought

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Abstract

Roger Schank's research in AI takes seriously the ideas that understanding natural language involves mapping its expressions into an internal representation scheme and that these internal representations have a syntax appropriate for computational operations. It therefore falls within the computational approach to the study of mind. This paper discusses certain aspects of Schank's approach in order to assess its potential adequacy as a (partial) model of cognition. This version of the Language of Thought hypothesis encounters some of the same difficulties that arise for Fodor's account.

An ancestor of this paper was written while I was on sabbatical leave from the University of Michigan, Flint, during which time I held a fellowship in the Computer Science Department of Wright State University. Revisions were made while I held a Visiting Lectureship at the University of Waikato. I am grateful to these three institutions for their support, and to James H. Fetzer, David Hemmendinger, and Edwin Hung for helpful comments on earlier versions.