Many of the supporters of LOTH often appeal to the idea of a language of thought to explain a number of things about our natural languages. For example the language of thought has been appealed to in order to explain the following:
- How natural languages (i.e French, English, Russian etc.) are learned
- How our natural languages are to be understood
- And finally how utterances in a natural language can be meaningful
Simon Blackburn (1984) has claimed that either explanations of this kind lead to an regress as we ought to have to give an explanation of how a language of thought is learned, or that they are simply gratuitous because if it is possible to give a successful explanation which doesn't lead to regress, we ought to have given such an explanation for our natural languages without positing a language of thought at all.
Fodor's response to such objections can be found in Fodor (1975) and goes roughly as follows:
- The Language of Thought is innate it is not learned.
- The Language of Thought is understood in a different sense to how we understand our natural language comprehension.
- That sentences in a language of thought are not meaningful in virtue of another meaningful language but rather in a completely different way.