Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 49 (3):313-343 (2008)

Graham White
Queen Mary University of London
We start with Fodor's critique of cognitive science in "The mind doesn't work that way: The scope and limits of computational psychology": he argues that much mental activity cannot be handled by the current methods of cognitive science because it is nonmonotonic and, therefore, is global in nature, is not context-free, and is thus not capable of being formalized by a Turing-like mental architecture. We look at the use of nonmonotonic logic in the artificial intelligence community, particularly with the discussion of the so-called frame problem. The mainstream approach to the frame problem is, we argue, probably susceptible to Fodor's critique; however, there is an alternative approach, due to McCain and Turner, which is, when suitably reformulated, not susceptible. In the course of our argument, we give a proof theory for the McCain-Turner system and show that it satisfies cut elimination. We have two substantive conclusions: first, that Fodor's argument depends on assumptions about logical form which not all nonmonotonic theories satisfy and, second, that metatheory plays an important role in the context of evolutionary accounts of rationality.
Keywords Modal logic  Nonmonotonic logic  Theory of explanation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1215/00294527-2008-015
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Causation.D. Lewis - 1973 - In Philosophical Papers Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-213.
Counterfactuals and Comparative Possibility.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (4):418-446.
Aristotle on Causality.Andrea Falcon - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
62 ( #186,287 of 2,520,754 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #270,509 of 2,520,754 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes