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ProtoSociology

Volume 14, 2000

Folk Psychology, Mental Concepts and the Ascription of Attitudes

Jay L. Garfield
Pages 85-101
DOI: 10.5840/protosociology2000146

Thought as Language
A Metaphor Too Far

Language has often served both as a metaphor for thought. It is highly plausible that language serves as an epistemic entre into thought and that language structures adult human thought to a considerable degree. The language metaphor is, however, uncritically extended as a literal model of thought. This paper criticizes this extension, arguing that thought is not literally implemented in language and distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate uses of language as a device for understanding thought.

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