Archiwum czatu z prof. Jerrym Fodorem (15.05.2002)

od redakcji filozofia.org.pl - Czat ten był jednym z  pierwszych, publicznie dostępnych wywiadów on-line z amerykańskim filozofem zrealizowanym w polskim internecie. Zorganizowałem go na okoliczność
wzbogacenia formuły I Ogólnopolskiego Filozoficznego Forum przy wsparciu technicznym firmy WIZJA.NET. Pierwotnie dostępny był on w "serwisie dla każdego", który redagowałem na stronie
www.filozofia.pl. W oczekiwaniu na kolejne spotkania ze znakomitościami współczesnej filozofii zachęcamy do lektury zapisu rozmów z przeszłości.
Grzegorz Trela

W.Walentukiewicz (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): May Concepts about which you write in Concepts (199*) enter into laguage by ostensive definition? How does it look?
Jerry Fodor: On my view, what gives a concept content is some sort of causal relation between its instances and things in the world. I see no reason why ostensive definitions might not be sufficient to establish such connections de facto.

Pawel Sierpiński (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): How do you refer to critics of yours works by John Searle
Jerry Fodor: It depends on which criticism. One of Searle's views is that you can't have intentionality without consciousness. This would seriously damage the sort of position I want to hold; but, as far as I can tell, he's never given an argument for an intrinsic connection between the two. As for the `Chinese Room', what it shows is that semantic content depends on causal connections to the world. I think that's true, so there's nothing to argue about.

Grzegorz Trela (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): Which Theory of meaning is your favourites? Why This?
Jerry Fodor: I think that some sort of causal theory must be right. The main reason is that the alternative is that meaning depends on inferential role, and that turns out not to work. One reason is that it requires an analytic/synthetic distinction if it's to avoid semantic holism; and there are familiar reasons to doubt that there is any such distinction.

Tomasz Cyparski (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): How is your favourite lectures in clasical Philosophy, literature?
Jerry Fodor: None in particular; though I've been working on a book about Hume's theory of mind; I find the way that the points of agreement and disagreement of his views and the cognitive science approach very useful to think about.

Anita Pacholik- żuromska (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): What is mind? what kind of relation is between brain and language of thought? if the symbols of mentalese are phisical and syntactic, than how we can use semantic?
Jerry Fodor: I don't think 'what is mind' is a fruitful way of putting the question. I think `what is mental representation' and `whaat is mental content' are better. I don't think there's any special problem about semantics in a language of thought position; I suppose content is determined (in some way nobody understands) by mind-world relations (presumably causal. That's quite compatible with holding that mental PROCESSES are syntactic/computational.

Pawel Sierpinski (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): Have you got any favourites polish filosophers, which are still alive? If yes so what do you think about theirs works?
Jerry Fodor: I really don't know anything much about Polish philosophy. I'm not a very good philosophical scholar. Sorry.

Romek (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): Dear Professor Fodor. Now we Have I Polish National Youth Philosophical Forum. What You Thing about ideas like that?
Jerry Fodor: Probably a good idea; though my own experience is that I get more from quietly thinking about a problem than I do from going to conferences where it's being discussed. I think this is a matter of individual preferences.

Jadzia Jackowska (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): It is possible that future computers may have some emotions?
Jerry Fodor: I have no idea; it depends a lot on what you mean by a computer. If the question is whether emotion is a computational process (as I believe a lot of thought is), then I wouldn't have thought so. But I don't think anybody has anything serious to say about this sort of issue; myself least of all.

WW (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): How do you understand relation between the language of thought and a natural language?
Jerry Fodor: I assume that cognitive states are relations between minds and mental representations, the latter of which express the contents of the states. On this sort of view, knowing a natural language is mostly a matter of knowing how to translate from it into the language in which mental representations are encoded (and back again). The details here are quite complicated, since I suppose that mental representation has to be explicit about (or example) logical form and the like, which natural language does not. But, in my view, the translation story is a good first approximation.

WW (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): How do you understand relation between brain and the language of thought?
Jerry Fodor: It's like the relation between a computer and the machine language that it runs on. In principle, any mechanism that can perform the operations that a Turing machine can could function as a computer. I assume that the brain is one of those.

WW (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): Do you belive in God (god)? What kind of God (god)?
Jerry Fodor: I guess I think pretty much what Hume did; if there is a God, he must be exceptionally incompetent at his job.

WW (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): How do you understand "computation" or "computing"? What does mean "manipulations on symbols"? What kind of symbols? (sorry, I'm a beginner in philosophy).
Jerry Fodor: To a first approximation, I think computation is a causal process defined over symbols with respect solely to the syntax of the symbols. In all the interesting cases, such processes preserve semantical properties (like, for example, truth.) It's not, I imagine, necessary to have a much more refined and explicit notion in order to work on a computational theory of mind. It's almost always a mistake to try to define one's terms.

desperado (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): I want ask you a question my friend: What's your state about technological singularity? Many technocrats predict the end of humanity. How does this refeer to recent (bad) news?
Jerry Fodor: If I were really worried about this sort of question, I don't think I'd ask a philosopher for the answer. Getting a PhD in academic philosophy is not a particularly good way to attain Wisdom. Any more than, say, getting a Ph.D. in academic geology.

Robert Pilat (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): Professor Fodor, You seem to put emphasis on the causal relation between representation and the represented object. The relation shoud link, so to to say, the whole object to the representation. Now, there is simulation based theory of representation (proposed by R. Cummins) in which the causal link is not so strong and comprehensive. Rather occasional, working from time to to time. May I know your opinion about this concept of representation and the kind of occasional causality it imlplies?
Jerry Fodor: I haven't been keeping up with Cummins' work; but my guess is that the stuff about simulation is only indirectly related to issues about content. Anyhow, I think the crucial mind-world relations must be nomological; that is, there are laws that connect mental representations with what they are representations of. Such laws can have all sorts of exceptions (all the laws of nonbasic science do); and they needn't actually be instantiated in order to support counterfactuals. If Cummins has a serious argument against that sort of view, I haven't heard about it.

BW (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): Can we use the connectionism systems to explain mind? Can we create the model of mind by means of PDP systems? How is your opinion?
Jerry Fodor: Connectionist models (as far as I can tell) are just old-fashioned Associationism run on a computer. The objections that Kant had to Hume still hold; a theory of representation needs an account of predication; Associationism doesn't offer one. Actually I think that, viewed as theoretical psychology, most of the PDP work I've seen has been a waste of time.

Janek Mlodozeniec (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): What is the bigest Philosophical problem in your opinion?
Jerry Fodor: I don't think problems come sorted into `philosophical' and `others'.

Piotr Szałek (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): What is you current idea about the relation between the body and the mind? Do you think that question is correct formulated?
Jerry Fodor: I doubt there is any one such relation. Presumably mental properties are properties of organisms. I suppose organisms have physical descriptions that in virtue of which they count as bodies inter alia.

desperado (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): Professor Fodor, It is a joke-question: How is your favourite Menu?
Jerry Fodor: I don't understand the joke.

ww (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): Do you read science fiction? What sort of?
Jerry Fodor: No. I don't read comic books either. I do admire the novels of Henry James, however.

desperado (Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.): What music you are listening?
Jerry Fodor: I'm an opera fan.