A New Account of the Systematicity of Thought

In other Aizawa-relevant news, Steven Philips and Williams Wilson have a new theory of the systematicity of thought based on category theory.

With their publication, they have joined an elite group of academics who have referred to my book, The Systematicity Arguments(Fodor mentions it in LOT 2   and McLaughlin mentions it in his “Systematicity Redux” .)  Indeed, Philips and Wilson do more than just mention the book.  They have an entire section of largely positive discussion some of the material.  The material is probably off the radar of most philosophers in the PLoS Computational Biology, but it is freely available.

https://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000858 (HTML)

https://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/fetchObjectAttachment.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1000858&representation=PDF (PDF)

https://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/fetchObjectAttachment.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1000858&representation=XML (XML)

I’m sure my royalties for that book will now be waaay more than ten dollars for this year.


  1. gualtiero

    Very exciting, and glad to hear two more people are joining the club of those who cite your book (I’m a member too :-)).

    What do you make of their article? (I don’t have time to read it now.)

  2. kenneth aizawa

    Much of my stuff on systematicity was directed toward articulating what I take to be the explanatory standard implicit in Fodor, Pylyshyn, and McLaughlin’s arguments for systematicity.  I don’t think that they articulate this in exactly the right way, but the real issue, I suppose, is whether their account really does meet this explanatory standard.  They think it does.  Their explanation invokes category theory, which is really not anything I know about, so it’s going to take me a while to work through this stuff.  I just got the note from them today. 

Comments are closed.

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: