The Primacy of the Subjective: Foundations for a Unified Theory of Mind and Language

Cambridge MA: Bradford Book/MIT Press (2006)
Abstract
In this highly original monograph, Nicholas Georgalis proposes that the concept of minimal content is fundamental both to the philosophy of mind and to the philosophy of language. He argues that to understand mind and language requires minimal content -- a narrow, first-person, non-phenomenal concept that represents the subject of an agent's intentional state as the agent conceives it. Orthodox third-person objective methodology must be supplemented with first-person subjective methodology. Georgalis demonstrates limitations of a strictly third-person methodology in the study of mind and language and argues that these deficiencies can be corrected only by the incorporation of a first-person methodology. Nevertheless, this expanded methodology makes possible an objective understanding of the subjective. Georgalis argues against the conflation of consciousness and subjectivity with phenomenal experience. Consequently, and contrary to common belief, he argues that consciousness without phenomenality is as strongly implicated in intentionality as it is in phenomenal states. He proposes a broader understanding of the "hard problem" of consciousness, arguing that there is an "explanatory gap problem" for both phenomenal and intentional states. His theory provides a framework that renders the vexing relations between mental and brain states comprehensible. Georgalis also argues for novel explanations of the phenomenal and of representation -- explanations that follow from the core concept of minimal content. Treating the topics of meaning and reference, he introduces a first-person concept of intended reference derivative from minimal content that resolves various problems in the philosophy of language. Eschewing ontology, Georgalis proposes his theory as a means to make sense of, analyze, and relate issues in the philosophies of mind and language. The concept of minimal content, he argues, plays a necessary, pivotal, unifying, and foundational role in advancing our understanding of these issues
Keywords Content  Language  Metaphysics  Mind  Minimal  Physicalism
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ISBN(s) 0262072653     9780262072656
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William Lycan (2009). Giving Dualism its Due. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):551-563.
Marta Jorba (2015). Thoughts, Processive Character and the Stream of Consciousness. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (5):730-753.
Uriah Kriegel (2010). Intentionality and Normativity. Philosophical Issues 20 (1):185-208.
Uriah Kriegel (2013). Phenomenal Intentionality Past and Present: Introductory. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):437-444.

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