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Abstract

On formal and empirical grounds, the overt form of language cannot be the vehicle that the mind uses for reasoning. Nevertheless, we most frequently experience our thought as "inner speech". It is argued that inner speech aids thought by providing a "handle " for attention, making it possible to pay attention to relational and abstract aspects of thought, and thereby to process them with greater richness. Organisms lacking language have no modality of experience that provides comparable articulation of thought; hence certain kinds of thought very important for human intelligence are simply unavailable to them.
... Overall, these descriptions support the idea that inner speech has a number of functions beyond keeping ourselves company. This is consistent with the more general idea that language is not simply a medium of communication but, rather, serves a large number of cognitive functions (Carruthers, 2002;Clark, 1998;Jackendoff, 1996). By Ray Jackendoff's account, language helps us 'think' because it allows thoughts to be communicated, it makes thinking available, and gives percepts' affective quality a form that can be manipulated (Jackendoff, 1996). ...
... This is consistent with the more general idea that language is not simply a medium of communication but, rather, serves a large number of cognitive functions (Carruthers, 2002;Clark, 1998;Jackendoff, 1996). By Ray Jackendoff's account, language helps us 'think' because it allows thoughts to be communicated, it makes thinking available, and gives percepts' affective quality a form that can be manipulated (Jackendoff, 1996). Building on a long tradition started by Vygotsky in the 1930 s, Andy Clark suggests that language gives us the power to perform novel computations, i.e., 'memory augmentation', 'environmental simplification', 'coordination and the reduction of on-line deliberation', 'taming path-dependent learning', 'attention and resource allocation', and 'data manipulation and representation' (Clark, 1998). ...
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Most research on the neurobiology of language ignores consciousness and vice versa. Here, language, with an emphasis on inner speech, is hypothesised to generate and sustain self-awareness, i.e., higher-order consciousness. Converging evidence supporting this hypothesis is reviewed. To account for these findings, a ‘HOLISTIC’ model of neurobiology of language, inner speech, and consciousness is proposed. It involves a ‘core’ set of inner speech production regions that initiate the experience of feeling and hearing words. These take on affective qualities, deriving from activation of associated sensory, motor, and emotional representations, involving a largely unconscious dynamic ‘periphery’, distributed throughout the whole brain. Responding to those words forms the basis for sustained network activity, involving ‘default mode’ activation and prefrontal and thalamic/brainstem selection of contextually relevant responses. Evidence for the model is reviewed, supporting neuroimaging meta-analyses conducted, and comparisons with other theories of consciousness made. The HOLISTIC model constitutes a more parsimonious and complete account of the ‘neural correlates of consciousness’ that has implications for a mechanistic account of mental health and wellbeing.
... Distances in semantic vector spaces provide a useful analog to coherence in discourse (Foltz, 2007) in that leaps from one part of the space to another can provide an indication of how much change there is in the overall semantic content from one part of the discourse to the next. There are of course alternatives to the philosophical tradition of Wittgenstein (e.g., Sellars, 1963), and may be compelling arguments to be made that thought and language are separate systems (e.g., see Jackendoff, 1996). Nonetheless, viewing incoherence of speech through the lens of the above-mentioned philosophical framework has led to ideas and testable hypotheses on how word co-occurrence statistics can be different in speech from patients with schizophrenia, compared to healthy individuals. ...
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Incoherent speech in schizophrenia has long been described as the mind making “leaps” of large distances between thoughts and ideas. Such a view seems intuitive, and for almost two decades, attempts to operationalize these conceptual “leaps” in spoken word meanings have used language-based embedding spaces. An embedding space represents meaning of words as numerical vectors where a greater proximity between word vectors represents more shared meaning. However, there are limitations with word vector-based operationalizations of coherence which can limit their appeal and utility in clinical practice. First, the use of esoteric word embeddings can be conceptually hard to grasp, and this is complicated by several different operationalizations of incoherent speech. This problem can be overcome by a better visualization of methods. Second, temporal information from the act of speaking has been largely neglected since models have been built using written text, yet speech is spoken in real time. This issue can be resolved by leveraging time stamped transcripts of speech. Third, contextual information - namely the situation of where something is spoken - has often only been inferred and never explicitly modeled. Addressing this situational issue opens up new possibilities for models with increased temporal resolution and contextual relevance. In this paper, direct visualizations of semantic distances are used to enable the inspection of examples of incoherent speech. Some common operationalizations of incoherence are illustrated, and suggestions are made for how temporal and spatial contextual information can be integrated in future implementations of measures of incoherence.
... It should be noted that the thinking about/through distinction cross-cuts an important distinction introduced by Martínez-Manrique and Vicente (2015) between the format and activity views of inner speech. On the format view-which Martínez-Manrique and Vicente attribute to, inter alia, Jackendoff (1996) and Bermúdez (2003)-inner speech is (i) necessary for conscious thinking, (ii) recruited in conscious thought in virtue of features of its format, and (iii) the product or output of speech planning and production systems that (typically) consists of strings of phonological representations. The activity view, on the other hand, denies that inner speech is necessary for conscious thinking and that we recruit inner speech in virtue of its format. ...
Article
Our conscious thought, at least at times, seems suffused with language. We may experience thinking as if we were ‘talking in our head’, thus using inner speech to verbalize, e.g., our premises, lemmas, and conclusions. I take inner speech to be part of a larger phenomenon I call inner semiotics, where inner semiotics involves the subjective experience of expressions in a semiotic (or symbol) system absent the overt articulation of the expressions. In this paper, I argue that inner semiotics allows us to bootstrap our way into entertaining thoughts about exact numbers and quantities that we couldn't prior to our competence with a numeric code. I establish that our arithmetic thoughts literally occur as (internal ‘articulations’ of) expressions in a numeric code. However, a problem arises for my view: just as we can slip in overt speech, producing an utterance that deviates from what we mean to say, there is very good evidence that we can slip in inner speech as well. If our arithmetic thought occurs in a numeric code, it's far from clear how we determine when a covert utterance constitutes a slip. In closing, I provide an account of what makes an inner speech utterance a slip.
... Second, this article contends that the question whether language and thought are the same thing or not should be substituted with the question whether and how language helps us think (Carruthers, 2002;Jackendoff, 1996). Besides allowing for other, nonverbal forms of cognition, the latter question provides a perspective from which the cognitive value of language can be gauged against other potential tools for thought (Hermer-Vazquez, 2002). ...
Article
The capacity for language has evolved remarkably quickly in recent human history. Its advent likely coincided with a range of cognitive innovations not found elsewhere at this level of complexity in the rest of the animal kingdom. This late yet near-simultaneous florescence of higher language and cognition is difficult to account for in terms of strictly modular neurocognitive systems, each with its own dedicated function and evolutionary trajectory. Nor does it legitimize the neurocognitive study of language in isolation from other systems of human thought and action. In the wake of emergentist approaches to key human cognitive abilities the present paper considers language as the differentiated product of multiple neural networks dedicated to qualitatively distinct cognitive functions – including (at least) the cortical systems of general semantic cognition and control and the sensorimotor systems supporting language production. A model is proposed to account for how these systems congregate to produce language, featuring a dual-stream architecture of the semantic interface into item-based and item-independent semantic knowledge on the one hand, and a notion of the sensorimotor interface as a key component for the temporal tracking and verbal rehearsal of task-relevant information on the other. Avenues are also offered for enriching this architecture in future versions of the model. Finally, it is proposed that language is an ‘optimal’ combination of these neurocognitive systems, enabling fast and cost-effective transfer of information at the systems level. This last point underpins evidence for the privileged status of language as a tool for adaptive thought and behavior, as well as some important features of brain evolution, development and functional organization.
... It may also be possible to reason through, say, tokening a series of non-linguistic visuospatial representations. 3 In addition, it is not my purpose in this paper to explore what types of reasoning (if any) may require natural language, e.g., whether we need to employ our linguistic capacities to think about causal relations, abstracta, counterfactuals, etc., (cf., Bermúdez, 2003;Jackendoff, 1996). For sake of space, this paper focuses on establishing that an inner speech utterance can be the bearer of propositional contents, and can, thus, constitute a conscious, occurrent judgment. ...
Article
People frequently report that their thought has, at times, a vocal character. Thinking commonly appears to be accompanied or constituted by silently ‘talking’ to oneself in inner speech. In this paper, I argue that inner speech ‘utterances’ can constitute occurrent propositional attitudes, e.g., occurrent judgments, suppositions, etc., and, thereby, we can consciously reason through tokening a series of inner speech utterances in working memory. As I demonstrate, the functional role a mental state plays in working memory is determined in a flexible and context sensitive manner by metacognitive monitoring and control procedures. An inner speech utterance functions as an occurrent judgment (and, thus, as a premise, lemma, or conclusion in a line of conscious reasoning) when it is experienced with a level of certainty that exceeds one’s threshold of confidence for acceptance. In virtue of an agent experiencing an inner speech utterance with a sufficient level of certainty, the utterance plays the functional role of an occurrent judgment through, e.g., terminating inquiry and causing overt actions (like overtly asserting the words rehearsed in inner speech).
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Menger made wants and goods the center of economic analysis. This paper locates his theory of wants and goods in the history of economic ideas, identifying major influences from the German subjective-value tradition of the 19th century. Our survey of select German economists prior to 1871 – Hufeland, Storch, Rau, Hermann, Mischler, Stein and Schäffle – discovers insights that highlight the subjective and processual nature of the wants-goods nexus, as does Menger’s approach. Menger’s process approach to economics had several precursors – the historical record is much more nuanced than previously recognized. Menger combined existing ideas on wants and goods into a novel, more coherent and productive framework. He portrayed human wants and the desire to satisfy them as the driving force propelling economic processes. Menger’s theory about wants and goods provided the foundations for his theory of subjective value. He showed how the simple idea that people value goods in light of their wants is the key to the most fundamental problems of economic theory, including value, price formation, production, distribution and economic development, and he applied this insight to explain complex economic processes in modern market economies. Menger’s work constitutes a major synthesis that advances earlier ideas (especially of Hermann, Mischler and Schäffle) on wants, goods and their interplay, and his focus upon complementarities of consumer goods constitutes yet a further advancement on German economics.
Chapter
This interdisciplinary work is a collection of major essays on reasoning: deductive, inductive, abductive, belief revision, defeasible (non-monotonic), cross cultural, conversational, and argumentative. They are each oriented toward contemporary empirical studies. The book focuses on foundational issues, including paradoxes, fallacies, and debates about the nature of rationality, the traditional modes of reasoning, as well as counterfactual and causal reasoning. It also includes chapters on the interface between reasoning and other forms of thought. In general, this last set of essays represents growth points in reasoning research, drawing connections to pragmatics, cross-cultural studies, emotion and evolution.
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This chapter discusses a series of fundamental principles for quantum software modeling languages. These principles are then exemplified in the development of “Q-UML”—a quantum software modeling language based on the popular unified modeling language (UML).
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The characteristic difficulty in creating pure quantum software is mainly due to the inaccessibility to intermediate states, which makes debugging practically impossible. However, the use of formal methods, which apply rigorous mathematical models to ensure error-free software, can overcome this barrier and enable the production of reliable quantum algorithms and applications right out of the box.
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