Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Jerry Fodor Strikes Again

"As for me, I'm inclined to think that Chicken Little got it right. Abduction really is a terrible problem for cognitive science, one that is unlikely to be solved by any kind of theory we have heard of so far." Jerry Fodor, The Mind Doesn't Work That Way 41 (MIT 2001).

N.B. Many theorists believe there are three (rather than two) basic patterns of inference:

1. deduction
2. induction
3. abduction
Abductive inference involves -- roughly speaking -- the mysterious business of finding more in information or events than seems to be there in strictu sensu; for example, abduction involves the suggestive character of evidentiary details; it involves events and matters that function as "signs," or hints, as matters that somehow (in the human imagination) point beyond themselves.

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How does Rutgers manage to land so many philosophers with captivating prose (as well as interesting ideas)?

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