David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Suppose for a moment, that J.R.R. Tolkien, the famous author of the cult fantasy saga Lord of the Rings, did not publish anything of his writings during his lifetime; suppose that after his death the manuscripts of all his writings are lying on his table. Where, then, is the Middlearth, the glorious land of hobbits, dwarfs, elfs and human heroes, situated? We might be tempted to say that it is within our world, namely inside the pile of the papers on the writer’s table - for it exists solely through the letters written on these papers. However, to say this would be wrong (or at least strongly misleading) - surely we do not expect that should the heroes of the book walk in a straight line long enough, they would cross the boundaries of the book and appear in Mr. Tolkien’s room. Middlearth is, of course, not within our world - despite existing solely due to certain things which are within it. Now the situation is not substantially different actually, when Middlearth does not exist solely through a single pile of papers, but rather through millions of printed copies of Tolkien’s books and through the minds of millions of their readers. Again, the land exists exclusively through the existence of entities which are parts of our world (albeit that they are now scattered throughout the whole Earth), but this does not mean that the land itself is a part of our world. The point of this anecdotal excursion is now that this relationship between our world and Middlearth is, in a sense, similar to the relationship between our physical space of things and „the space of reasons“ (Sellars, 1956, §36); or between „the causal story“ and „the justificatory story“ (Rorty, 1991, 148). Like Middlearth, the space of reasons exists exclusively due to us, humans, and our minds (and perhaps also of some of our artifacts), and in this sense we might be tempted to situate it in our world, to see it as a certain, perhaps scattered, compartment of the world of things within which we live; but just as in the case of Middlearth, this might be dangerously misguiding..
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