Jerry Fodor

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Jerry Alan Fodor
Full name Jerry Alan Fodor
Born 1935
New York City, New York
Era 20th / 21st-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Analytic
Main interests Philosophy of mind
Philosophy of language
Cognitive science
Rationalism · Cognitivism
Functionalism
Notable ideas Modularity of mind
Language of thought

Jerry Fodor (born 1935) is a philosopher. He mostly works on the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, both of which are concerned with how the mind works.

His studies have concerned themselves with the idea of whether thought is expressed in language or whether it is absurd to think so. Fodor also attempted to tie in the design of the brain to the thoughts held within. This is described by many as a return to the 19th century practice of phrenology, although Fodor offers more science to back his version up than phrenologists. It is these views which led other philosophers, such as Jared Cole and Daniel Dennett to describe Fodor's claims as absurd and out of date.

Fodor currently lives in New York City with his wife, Janet. He has two children and several cats. Outside philosophy he enjoys opera and writes for the London Review of Books.

Works[change | change source]

  • Fodor, Jerry A. 1975. The language of thought.
  • Fodor, Jerry A. 1981. Representations: philosophical essays on the foundations of cognitive science. The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-06079-5
  • Fodor, Jerry A. 1983. The modularity of mind. The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-56025-9
  • Fodor, Jerry A. 2000. The mind doesn't work that way: the scope and limits of computational psychology. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-56146-8