Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Languages of thought need to be distinguished from learning mechanisms, and nothing yet rules out multiple distinctively human learning systems

Michael Tetzlaffa1 and Peter Carruthersa1

a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. [email protected] [email protected] http://www.philosophy.umd.edu/Faculty/pcarruthers/

Abstract

We distinguish the question whether only human minds are equipped with a language of thought (LoT) from the question whether human minds employ a single uniquely human learning mechanism. Thus separated, our answer to both questions is negative. Even very simple minds employ a LoT. And the comparative data reviewed by Penn et al. actually suggest that there are many distinctively human learning mechanisms.

Related Articles

    Darwin's mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds Derek C. Penn, Keith J. Holyoak and Daniel J. Povinelli Department of Psychology, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095; Cognitive Evolution Group, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504 [email protected] http://reasoninglab.psych.ucla.edu/ http://www.cognitiveevolutiongroup.org/; Department of Psychology, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 [email protected] http://reasoninglab.psych.ucla.edu/; Cognitive Evolution Group, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504 [email protected] http://www.cognitiveevolutiongroup.org/
    Metrics