Language of Thought and Fodor

This paper is based on his book titled The Language of Thought, as it seeks to prove that Fodor was right in saying that the nature of human thought requires the existence of a language of thought that is not one’s native language. At the very onset, it is imperative to highlight the main features of the nature of human thought.
Human thought is that course or process which enables a human being to make rational choices and recognise symbols. This process goes beyond language, according to Fodor. It is contained in the laws of nature and the reaction that a human instinctively offers in the study of these laws. Here, it is imperative to speak about language so as to compare and contrast the two before proving Fodor’s theory. (Fodor, 1975)
The knowledge of a language is akin to the art of knowing about an entire culture, nation and people. Language may be defined as a form of expression that reveals a person’s identity and gives him or her a sense of belonging. But how does a language structure a person’s experiences To begin with, the role of language in one’s life is one that fulfils the need to belong. This sense of belonging springs from one’s immediate environment where there is focus on the language one speaks along with complementary elements like accent, nuances and other such features that form the general social and cultural terrain of the particular place. Language offers people first hand knowledge of a variety of symbols that one comes to associate with a place. This in turn generates a more enriching quality to one’s experiences. (Mercer, 1996)
In knowing and learning a language, whether by birth or subsequent settlement, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that helps contribute to one’s sense of identity. This also has certain mental implications as it shows the person’s basic aptitudes, besides brining him or her face to face with the challenges of implementing the language. This makes a person draw from experiences of the past, learn from present experiences and contribute to future experiences, which will shape his or her overall life experiences. This also renders a certain amount of creative and communicative competency to a person and his or her sense of confidence with which he or she carries out interactions with people. If Fodor is to be believed, then the competency of a person comes from being able to effectively use language to portray what is within. For this, it is imperative to portray the most elementary human thought in a language that transcends words, diction and pronunciation. This connects language with experience. (Fodor, 1975)
In this regard, it is necessary to shift focus to the process of learning of a language and garnering communicative competency. This process is important in every individual’s life as the knowledge comes only after learning. The very process of learning is a journey throughout which an individual is brought face to face with experiences. These experiences form his or her general perspective on things. In this way, there is a certain level of competency which in turn, springs from the areas and experiences that a person finds comfortable to deal with. Learning a language is a crucial part of describing how a language shapes a person’s experiences. (Girvin, 2000)
Learning a language has always been a great challenge. While this is a matter of creating awareness, it is also a matter of creating certain comfort level that will trigger communicative com