Jerry A. Fodor was born in 1935 in New York City, and received his PhD in Philosophy at Princeton in 1960. Until 1986 Fodor was on the faculty at MIT, where he became an early exponent of Chomsky's program in linguistics, collaborated in psycholinguistic research, and developed his own strongly nativistic theory.
Fodor defended the claim that thinking invokes a language-like medium in The Language of Thought (1975). His 1983 book The Modularity of Mind defends a strong version of faculty psychology, according to which the mind consists of informationally encapsulated, low-level perceptual modules which feed information to higher-level central cognitive processes that are non-modular. According to Fodor, only modular cognitive processes can be studied scientifically. Since moving to Rutgers University in 1988, Fodor has been an ardent critic of connectionist models of cognitive phenomena, arguing that they cannot account for the rationality of thought