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Fodor: Language, Mind and Philosophy

Mark J. Cain

ISBN: 978-0-745-62473-0 February 2002 Polity 256 Pages


Jerry Fodor is one of the most important philosophers of mind in recent decades. He has done much to set the agenda in this field and has had a significant influence on the development of cognitive science. Fodor's project is that of constructing a physicalist vindication of folk psychology and so paving the way for the development of a scientifically respectable intentional psychology. The centrepiece of his engagement in this project is a theory of the cognitive mind, namely, the computational theory of mind, which postulates the existence of a language of thought. Fodor: Language, Mind and Philosophy is a comprehensive study of Fodor's writings. Individual chapters are devoted to each of the major issues raised by his work and contain extensive discussion of his relationships to key developments in cognitive science and to the views of such philosophical luminaries as Dennett, Davidson and Searle.

This accessible book will appeal to advanced level undergraduate students of philosophy and related disciplines. It will also be of great interest to professional philosophers and cognitive scientists.


1. The Fodorian Project.

2. Philosophical and Scientific Background.

3. The Computational Theory of Mind.

4. Challenges to the Computational Theory of Mind.

5. Explaining Mental Content.

6. Individualism and Narrow Content.

7. The Modularity Thesis.





'Beautifully clear and well argued, Cain's study of Fodor will serve not only as an accessible book on a very important contemporary philosopher of mind, but also as an excellent introduction to the whole area in which Fodor's work has its being.'

Gregory McCulloch, University of Birmingham

  • An accessible introductory text to a leading figure in the field of philosophy

  • A strong addition to our Key Contemporary Thinkers series