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Does intentionality fits in computational semantics?

Grant number: 18/11181-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2018
Effective date (End): November 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - Epistemology
Principal Investigator:Itala Maria Loffredo D'Ottaviano
Grantee:Nathalia Cristina Alves Pantaleao Strongren
Supervisor abroad: Frederick R Adams
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Delaware (UD), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:16/02420-5 - The limits of computational theory of mind and the body's role in semantics capacity, BP.DR

Abstract

We aim at analyzing the language's semantic aspect naturalization hypothesis and its explanatory relevance when related to a mechanical approach of mind, as pointed out by proponents of the Computational Theory of Mind. In this context, the naturalized semantic realism is conceived as involving no relevant computable mental elements in the process of meaning's attribution. Unlike such approach, we believe that intentionality is one of them. Thus, we will discuss the following problem: Can a naturalistic approach be computational? In order to answer such question we will investigate the relationship between natural semantic content and the computational rules of linguistic manipulation. On one hand, form the Naturalistic approach (DRETSKE, 1981, 1988; FODOR, 1987, 1990) semantics is a product of natural facts such that the connection between thought-vehicles (symbols) and their contents, which occurs without the mediation of Intentional concepts. Such authors argue that semantics are derived from mental contents without intrinsic intentionality. On the other hand, the Computational Theory of Mind (CHOMSKY, 1967, 2005; FODOR, 1975, 2001) conceives the semantic aspect of language as developed from syntactic structures and from the processing of linear information, which is possible due to the biological structural arrangement of certain individuals. In both paradigms, semantics is deprived of speaking subject's intentionality and depends only on its representational (unintentional) state. Finally, based on the limits of computation, we will argue that intentional mental concepts could be relevant, since a naturalistic and (possibly) computational approach of the semantic aspect of language it is not enough to encompass such properties.