Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy
Friday 30 May 2008
3rd International Lauener Symposium on Analytical Philosophy
In Honour of Professor Ruth Barcan Marcus
Prof. Dr. Joëlle Proust
Thinking about Thinking – without a Language?
Prof. Barcan Marcus has convincingly shown that belief formation is independent from language possession. This view has now gained a wide currency among philosophers of mind. Many philosophers, however, are presently claiming that linguistic expression is required to form higher-order beliefs. This is supposed to apply to metacognition – the kind of mental activity through which one is trying to predict and evaluate one's own mental dispositions, states and properties for their cognitive adequacy. Arguments will be offered to show that metacognition does not need to refer to conceptual representations of attitudes, and does not require language possession.