Maps, languages, and manguages: Rival cognitive architectures?

Kent Johnson
<span title="2014-03-20">2014</span> <i title="Informa UK Limited"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">Philosophical Psychology</a> </i> &nbsp;
Provided we agree about the thing, it is needless to dispute about the terms. -David Hume, A treatise of human nature, Book 1, section VII Map-like representations are frequently invoked as an alternative type of representational vehicle to a language of thought. This view presupposes that map-systems and languages form legitimate natural kinds of cognitive representational systems. I argue that they do not, because the collections of features that might be taken as characteristic of maps or
more &raquo; ... guages do not themselves provide scientifically useful information above and beyond what the individual features provide. To bring this out, I sketch several allegedly distinctive features of maps, and show how they can easily be grafted onto a simple logical language, resulting in a hybrid "manguage." The ease with which these linguistic and map-like properties can be integrated into a single representational system raises the question of what work broader categories like language and map are doing. I maintain that, as an empirical matter of fact, they serve no particular purpose in cognitive science, and thus do not characterize distinct kinds of cognitive architectures.
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.1080/09515089.2014.893814</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:nmh47nuserdebanzbdmp3bei7u</a> </span>
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