This article begins by asking if the project to write a philosophical novel is not inherently flawed; it would seem that the novelist must either write an ambiguous text, which would not create a strong enough argument to count as philosophy, or she must write a text with a clear argument, which would not be ambiguous enough to count as good fiction. The only other option available would be to exemplify a preexisting abstract philosophical system in the concrete literary world. (...) To move beyond such an impasse, this article turns to the work of Simone de Beauvoir. Beauvoir's unique aesthetic theory in "Literature and Metaphysics" envisions philosophy as an integral part of the literary text and sees the novel not as an argument but as something called a "philosophical appeal" (Beauvoir 2004b). In her first novel, She Came to Stay, such a concept of the philosophical novel allows Beauvoir to make an original contribution to the philosophical tradition—one in which Beauvoir rethinks the problem of solipsism—while still creating a stunning literary work (Beauvoir 1954). A study of the theory and the novel together thus provides a solid understanding of what philosophers stand to gain from the philosophical novel. (shrink)
Belief in propositions has had a long and distinguished history in analytic philosophy. Three of the founding fathers of analytic philosophy, Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and G. E. Moore, believed in propositions. Many philosophers since then have shared this belief; and the belief is widely, though certainly not universally, accepted among philosophers today. Among contemporary philosophers who believe in propositions, many, and perhaps even most, take them to be structured entities with individuals, properties, and relations as constituents. For example, the (...) proposition that Glenn loves Tracy has Glenn, the loving relation, and Tracy as constituents. What is it, then, that binds these constituents together and imposes structure on them? And if the proposition that Glenn loves Tracy is distinct from the proposition that Tracy loves Glenn yet both have the same constituents, what is about the way these constituents are structured or bound together that makes them two different propositions? In The Nature and Structure of Content, Jeffrey C. King formulates a detailed account of the metaphysical nature of propositions, and provides fresh answers to the above questions. In addition to explaining what it is that binds together the constituents of structured propositions and imposes structure on them, King deals with some of the standard objections to accounts of propositions: he shows that there is no mystery about what propositions are; that given certain minimal assumptions, it follows that they exist; and that on his approach, we can see how and why propositions manage to have truth conditions and represent the world as being a certain way. The Nature and Structure of Content also contains a detailed account of the nature of tense and modality, and provides a solution to the paradox of analysis. Scholars and students working in the philosophy of mind and language will find this book rewarding reading. (shrink)
Orientalism and Religion offers us a timely discussion of the implications of contemporary post-colonial theory for the study of religion. Drawing on a variety of post-structuralist and post-colonial thinkers, including Foucault, Gadamer, Said, and Spivak, Richard King examines the way in which notions such as mysticism, religion, Hinduism and Buddhism are taken for granted, and shows us how religion needs to be redescribed along the lines of cultural studies.
 In twelve quite demanding chapters, outstanding scholars provide an overall view of the key issues of Scotus’s philosophical thought. To this a very concise introduction is added, concerning the life and works of John Duns (very good, especially the survey of works and the information on critical editions etc.). Throughout the book, I find the information clear and the difficult topics well explained. Moreover, the volume gives a quick entrance to the vast literature. Among the topics discussed are: ‘Metaphysics’ (...) (Peter King), ‘Universals and Individuation’ (Timothy Noone), ‘Modal Theory’ (Calvin Normore), ‘Natural Theology’ (James Ross & Todd Bates), ‘Philosophy of Mind’ (Richard Cross), ‘Cognition’ (Robert Pasnau), ‘Moral Dispositions’ (Bonnie Kent). What strikes the eye is the absence of important theological subjects: Trinity, Christology, sin and grace, to name a few. Since the cover text promises that ‘the essays in this volume systematically survey the full range of Scotus’ thought’, this omission is remarkable. It stems, I guess, from the strict philosophical scope of the series of the Cambridge Companions, but such a limitation should have been recognised explicitly: this companion provides, in fact, an introduction to John Duns’s philosophy—i.e., philosophy in our modern sense. Of course, this separation of philosophical from theological thought is not from Scotus. Most of his innovative ‘philosophical’ ideas are developed in a profoundly theological context! (shrink)
This excerpt from Kenneth Kings essay, The Dancing Philosopher, traces its genesis from Nietzsches Thus Spoke Zarathustra (a work that greatly impacted Isadora Duncans founding of modern dance) that, in tandem with the emerging technology of the writing machine (typewriter), camera and kinetoscope (cinematography), conjoined the kinetropic and lexigraphemic to inaugurate the kinetic cogito. Maurice Merleau-Pontys phenomenological exposition of corporeality further amplified the reflexive potential of movement and the philosophical understanding of kinesthesia, and King cites as well the (...) technosophic synergy of John Cages and Merce Cunninghams long artistic collaboration that furthered the frontier of a mind-body epistemic. (shrink)
This essay supplies an historical review of black thought (from the Civil War forward) in the American South. Its emphasis is upon the biography of figures born in the region, whether resident or exile, concentrating on three foundational actors: Booker Washington, Frederick Douglass and Ida Wells. Significant strands of later thought are seen as largely derived from the latter two. The thematic anchor of this review is ?resistance and nonviolence?, involving (1) a primary focus on equal rights, (2) a derivative (...) focus on emancipation and desegregation, (3) exploration of nonviolence as a mode of resistance to oppression, (4) exploration of liberative violence, and (5) a larger concern with the appropriate type and degree of integration/separation implicit in or consistent with an equal rights regime. Douglass and Wells are cast as attending to sub?themes (1) and (2). This essay is designed to fit within the larger framework of the collection, in which the religious leaders Howard Thurman and Martin King are allocated to sub?theme (3), the novelist Richard Wright to (4), and the lawyers Thurgood Marshall, Barbara Jordan and Fred Gray to (5). The future challenge to black thought is assumed to lie in deeper reflection on (5), with a view to locating an ever more perfect balance between ?nation? (the ethnic community of Afro?America) and ?state? (the US federal government). (shrink)
This article seeks to generate a more precise understanding of the emergence and perpetuation of warlords. First, it offers a simple, intuitive, and empirically grounded conceptual definition of warlordism. Second, it argues that the primary factor contributing to the success of warlords is the ability to take advantage of price differentials for political, economic, and cultural goods across terrains—in a word, to arbitrage. Third, it illustrates this model with a case study of Khun Sa (1934–2007), the self-proclaimed Shan freedom-fighter and (...) “king” of Burma’s heroin trade. Finally, it suggests that the international community rethink its commitment to the norm of sovereignty in order to combat the proliferation of such non-state violence-wielders. (shrink)
In the field of computability and algorithmicity, there have recently been two essays that are of great interest: Peter Slezak's "Descartes's Diagonal Deduction," and David Deutsch's "Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer." In brief, the former shows that Descartes' Cogito argument is structurally similar to Godel's proof that there are statements true but cannot be proven within a formal system such as Principia Mathematica, while Deutsch provides strong arguments for believing that the universe can be represented (...) as a Turing machine. King contends that the conjoining of Slezak's analysis with Deutsch's provides a perspective from which it is possible to argue that a scientific theology can be taken a little more seriously at present than in the past. , , , , In the field of computability and algorithmicity, there have recently been two essays that are of great interest: Peter Slezak's "Descartes's Diagonal Deduction," and David Deutsch's "Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer." In brief, the former shows that Descartes' Cogito argument is structurally similar to Godel's proof that there are statements true but cannot be proven within a formal system such as Principia Mathematica, while Deutsch provides strong arguments for believing that the universe can be represented as a Turing machine. King contends that the conjoining of Slezak's analysis with Deutsch's provides a perspective from which it is possible to argue that a scientific theology can be taken a little more seriously at present than in the past. (shrink)
A contribution to the sixth installment of the Common Knowledge symposium “Apology for Quietism,” this article explores the possibilities for quietist narrative. Since quietism suggests resistance or condescension to telos, suspense, will, and the kinds of spirituality, politics, and ways of being associated with them, it seems unlikely that a narrative would be written or read by a practitioner of “ideal indifference” or by anyone averse on principle to initiative. But Gilbert White's text of 1789, The Natural History and Antiquities (...) of Selborne comes as close to being a quietist narrative as is conceivable. Describing the environment of a single English parish, White's text places stillness on exhibit as an indication of commitment to an ethics of self-unregarding attentiveness. But the stillness of Selborne, King argues, is a conspicuous stillness—a practice of being still in face of the natural world. As an Anglican minister, White explicitly demonstrates the arguments of eighteenth-century natural theology. Having stilled his will to interfere, he can observe the activity of God's creations; and White does so in order to understand God better. Thus, White's desisting or withdrawal is in no way based in defeatism, indolence, or aimlessness. Moreover, King argues, White aims to produce stillness as a formal quality of his text and, through it, to produce a like stillness and attentiveness in the reader. Quietist narrative is meant to help the reader still his or her acquisitiveness and develop instead observational capabilities, a capacity simply to admire (or stand apart, in awe), and, above all, patience. To the extent that it fosters in us a principled “do nothing” stance with respect to our natural ecology, King concludes, quietism of Gilbert White's kind may represent the most radical of environmental politics. (shrink)
The SRL (speciate re-entrant logic) of King (1989) is a sound, complete and decidable logic designed specifically to support formalisms for the HPSG (head-driven phrase structure grammar) of Pollard and Sag (1994). The SRL notion of modellability in a signature is particularly important for HPSG, and the present paper modifies an elegant method due to Blackburn and Spaan (1993) in order to prove that – modellability in each computable signature is 1 0 – modellability in some finite signature (...) is 1 0 -hard (hence not decidable), and – modellability in some finite signature is decidable. (shrink)
Through the critical examination of Baudrillard's concept of hyperreality, this article seeks to make a wider contribution to contempor ary debates about postmodernism. It draws on a post-Cartesian, Heideg gerian philosophy to demonstrate the weakness of the concept of hyperreality and reveal its foundation in a Cartesian epistemology. The article goes on to claim that this same Heideggerian tradition suggests a way in which the concept of hyperreality and nihilistic postmodern sociologies more generally might be dialectically superseded. Instead of these (...) theories being seen as saying anything insightful about recent social transformations, the epistemological void in which they position themselves should be inter preted as the intellectual expression of the wider cultural and postmodern trend of transgression. Key Words: Baudrillard Cartesianism Heidegger hyperreality postmodernism. (shrink)
Academic discussion of pornography is generally restricted to issues arising from the depiction of adults. I argue that child-pornography is a more complex matter, and that generally accepted moral judgements concerning pornography in general have to be revised when children are involved. I look at the question of harm to the children involved, the consumers, and society in general, at the question of blame, and at the possibility of a morally acceptable form of child-pornography. My approach involves an objectivist meta-ethics (...) and a utilitarian view of practical ethics, and I bring out the advantages of these theories to the consideration of moral issues such as this one. (shrink)
Contemporary Western culture is experiencing a heightened awareness of religious diversity. This article surveys a range of possible responses to such diversity, and distinguishes between responses that concern the salvation or moral transformation of persons (soteriological views) and those that concern the alethic or epistemic status of religious beliefs (doctrinal views). After providing a brief taxonomy of these positions and their possible relations to one another, the article focuses primarily on competing views about the truth and rationality of religious beliefs (...) (e.g., pluralism, exclusivism, and skepticism). Here a heavy emphasis is placed on arguments for and against the rationality and moral propriety of retaining one's religious beliefs in the face of disagreement. The article surveys some of the more prominent arguments from the literature on this topic and closes with suggestions for further research. (shrink)
There are two strands in Bourdieu's sociological writings. On the one hand, Bourdieu argues for a theoretical position one might term his "practical theory" which emphasizes virtuosic interactions between individuals. On the other hand, and most frequently, Bourdieu appeals to the concept of the habitus according to which society consists of objective structures and determined-and isolated-individuals. Although Bourdieu believes that the habitus is compatible with his practical theory and overcomes the impasse of objectivism and subjectivism in social theory, neither claim (...) is the case; the habitus is incompatible with his practical theory, and it retreats quickly into objectivism. However, Bourdieu's practical theory does offer a way out of the impasse of objectivism and subjectivism by focussing on the intersubjective interactions between individuals. (shrink)
Robert Stalnaker is an actualist who holds that merely possible worlds are uninstantiated properties that might have been instantiated. Stalnaker also holds that there are no metaphysically impossible worlds: uninstantiated properties that couldn't have been instantiated. These views motivate Stalnaker's "two dimensional" account of the necessary a posteriori on which there is no single proposition that is both necessary and a posteriori. For a (metaphysically) necessary proposition is true in all (metaphysically) possible worlds. If there were necessary a posteriori propositions, (...) that would mean that there were propositions true in all possible worlds but which could only be known to be true by acquiring empirical evidence. Consider such a purported proposition P. The role of empirical evidence for establishing P's truth would have to be to rule out worlds in which P is false. If there were no such worlds to be ruled out, we would not require evidence for P. But by hypothesis, P is necessary and so true in all metaphysically possible worlds. And on Stalnaker's view, the metaphysically possible worlds are all the worlds there are. So there can be no proposition that is true in all possible worlds, but that we require evidence to know. In this way, the motivation for Stalnaker's two dimensional account of the necessary a posteriori rests on his denying that there are metaphysically impossible Worlds. I argue that given his view of what possible worlds are, Stalnaker has no principled reason for denying that there are metaphysically impossible worlds. If I am right, this undercuts Stalnaker's motivation for his two dimensional account of the necessary a posteriori. (shrink)
One answer: Because medieval philosophy is just the continuation of ancient philosophy by other means—the Latin language and the Catholic Church— and, as Wallace Matson pointed out some time ago, the mind-body problem isn’t ancient.
Aristotle was the first thinker to devise a logical system. He drew upon the emphasis on universal definition found in Socrates, the use of reductio ad absurdum in Zeno of Elea, claims about propositional structure and negation in Parmenides and Plato, and the body of argumentative techniques found in legal reasoning and geometrical proof. Yet the theory presented in Aristotle’s five treatises known as the Organon—the Categories, the De interpretatione, the Prior Analytics, the Posterior Analytics, and the Sophistical Refutations—goes far (...) beyond any of these. (shrink)
Followers of Wittgenstein allegedly once held that a meaningful claim to know that p could only be made if there was some doubt about the truth of p. The correct response to this thesis involved appealing to the distinction between the semantic content of a sentence and features attaching (merely) to its use. It is inappropriate to assert a knowledge-claim unless someone in the audience has doubt about what the speaker claims to know. But this fact has nothing to do (...) with the semantic content of knowledgeascriptions; it is entirely explicable by appeal to pragmatic facts about felicitous assertion (that is, a kind of use of a sentence). (shrink)
In recent years we have seen a dramatic shift, in several different areas of communication studies, from an information-theoretic to a dynamic systems paradigm. In an information processing system, communication, whether between cells, mammals, apes, or humans, is said to occur when one organism encodes information into a signal that is transmitted to another organism that decodes the signal. In a dynamic system, all of the elements are continuously interacting with and changing in respect to one another, and an aggregate (...) pattern emerges from this mutual co-action. Whereas the information-processing paradigm looks at communication as a linear, binary sequence of events, the dynamic systems paradigm looks at the relation between behaviors and how the whole configuration changes over time. One of the most dramatic examples of the significance of shifting from an information processing to a dynamic systems paradigm can be found in the debate over the interpretation of recent advances in ape language research (ALR). To some extent, many of the early ALR studies reinforced the stereotype that animal communication is functional and stimulus bound, precisely because they were based on an information-processing paradigm that promoted a static model of communicative development. But Savage-Rumbaugh's recent results with bonobos has introduced an entirely new dimension into this debate. Shifting the terms of the discussion from an information-processing to a dynamic systems paradigm not only highlights the striking differences between Savage-Rumbaugh's research and earlier ALR studies, but further, it sheds illuminating light on the factors that underpin the development of communication skills in great apes and humans, and the relationship between communicative development and the development of language. Key Words: apes; ape language research (ALR); brain development; co-regulation; communication; dynamic systems; language development; symbols. (shrink)
Socrates, for example, has an essence that includes more than his human nature, which is his specific essence; he has an essence proper to himself alone, an essence that cannot be had by anyone else. Although Socrates does have singular (individualized) forms, his singular essence is not a form—there is no form Socrateity for the singular essence parallelling the form humanity for the specific essence. Instead, Socrates has his singular essence in consequence of being an individual, that is, in consequence (...) of having an ‘individual differentia’. Scotus further rejects the distinction between identity and individuality, maintaining that what it is for Socrates to be Socrates is the same as what it is for him to be an individual. Socrates, in the end, is his singular essence. (shrink)
possible, your investigation is unlikely ever to get off the ground), there’s no such excuse for philosophers. The philosopher should be unrestricted by fashions in thought, including the unquestioning acceptance of whatever scientific theories are currently dominant. The fact is, however, that in this field and in the philosophy of mind, many.
It is argued that taken together, two widely held claims ((i) sentences express structured propositions whose structures are functions of the structures of sentences expressing them; and (ii) sentences have underlying structures that are the input to semantic interpretation) suggest a simple, plausible theory of propositional structure. According to this theory, the structures of propositions are the same as the structures of the syntactic inputs to semantics they are expressed by. The theory is defended against a variety of objections.
result from combining the determiners `this' or `that' with syntactically simple or complex common noun phrases such as `woman' or `woman who is taking her skis off'. Thus, `this woman', and `that woman who is taking her skis off' are complex demonstratives. There are also plural complex demonstratives such as `these skis' and `those snowboarders smoking by the gondola'. My book Complex Demonstratives: A Quantificational Account argues against what I call the direct reference account of complex demonstratives (henceforth DRCD) and (...) defends a quantificational account of complex demonstratives. In two recent papers, Nathan Salmon has criticized one of the book's arguments against DRCD. In this essay I show that Salmon's criticism fails. I also show that the version of DRCD that Salmon ends up endorsing is false. (shrink)
Philosophical work on testimony has flourished in recent years. Testimony roughly involves a source affirming or stating something in an attempt to transfer information to one or more persons. It is often said that the topic of testimony has been neglected throughout most of the history of philosophy, aside from contributions by David Hume (1711–1776) and Thomas Reid (1710–1796).1 True as this may be, Hume and Reid aren’t the only ones who deserve a tip of the hat for recognizing the (...) importance of testimony: St. Augustine of Hippo (354–430) affirms the place of testimony in human cognition, at least in his later writings. (shrink)
It is common for philosophers to offer philosophical accounts or analyses, as they are sometimes called, of knowledge, autonomy, representation, (moral) goodness, reference, and even modesty. These philosophical analyses raise deep questions.What is it that is being analyzed (i.e. what sorts of things are the objects of analysis)? What sort of thing is the analysis itself (a proposition? sentence?)? Under what conditions is an analysis correct? How can a correct analysis be informative? How, if at all, does the production of (...) philosophical analyses differ from what scientists do? The purpose of the present paper is to provide answers to these questions. (shrink)
In the ﬁrst volume of Capital, Marx introduces a labor theory of value. The theory is supposed to form the basis of his “laying bare” the “inner workings” of capitalism. The theory rests on two claims, and at the outset Marx uses it to explain four features of capitalist production. Yet by the end of the ﬁnal volume of Capital, he abandons both claims and oﬀers alternative accounts of all four features of capitalism. We hold that Marx’s introduction of the (...) labor theory of value is not the presentation of an alternative economic theory, but serves to introduce his analysis of the class structure of capitalism. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the topics of mechanism and algorithmicity. I emphasise that a characterisation of algorithmicity such as the Turing machine is iterative; and I argue that if the human mind can solve problems that no Turing machine can, the mind must depend on some non-iterative principle — in fact, Cantor's second principle of generation, a principle of the actual infinite rather than the potential infinite of Turing machines. But as there has been theorisation that all physical systems (...) can be represented by Turing machines, I investigate claims that seem to contradict this: specifically, claims that there are noncomputable phenomena. One conclusion I reach is that if it is believed that the human mind is more than a Turing machine, a belief in a kind of Cartesian dualist gulf between the mental and the physical is concomitant. (shrink)
Over the last three decades, social theory has become an increasingly important sub-discipline within sociology. Social theory has attempted to elucidate the philosophical basis of sociology by defining the nature of social reality. According to social theory, society consists of objective institutions, structure, on the one hand, and individuals, agency on the other it promotes human social relations, insisting that in every instance social reality consists of these relations. The book begins by defining and criticizing contemporary social theory. It analyses (...) the work of Giddens, Bourdieu, Foucault, Bhaskar and Habermas to demonstrate that their commitment to structure and agency is unsustainable. The book then proceeds to recover a sociology which focuses on social relations by reference to the works of classical sociology; to Hegel, Marx, Weber and Durkheim. Finally, the book establishes a new 'hermeneutic' paradigm in which social relations are primary. The author argues that sociologists studying the dramatic social transformations which are currently occurring should focus on social relations between humans; they should not attempt to understand contemporary changes in terms of structure and agency. (shrink)
This article contends that Socratic wisdom (sophia) in Plato's Apology should be understood in relation to moderation (sophrosune), not knowledge (episteme). This stance is exemplified in an interpretation of Socrates' disavowal of knowledge. The god calls Socrates wise. Socrates holds both that he is wise in nothing great or small and that the god does not lie. These apparently inconsistent claims are resolved in an interpretation of elenchus. This interpretion says that Socrates is wise insofar as he does not believe (...) himself to know what he does not know. Whether one knows is demonstrated through elenchus, which moderates between knowledge claims. Thus, elenchus is productive of a kind of wisdom even if it does not produce knowledge. This claim, if true, forms a suitable basis for Socrates' defense of himself. That it does so serves as further evidence for the interpretation of sophia as sophrosune. (shrink)
No single theory of the emotions dominates the whole of the Middle Ages. Instead, there are several competing accounts, and differences of opinion — sometimes quite dramatic — within each account. Yet there is consensus on the scope and nature of a theory of the emotions, as well as on its place in affective psychology generally. For most medieval thinkers, emotions are at once cognitively penetrable and somatic, which is to say that emotions are influenced by and vary with changes (...) in thought and belief, and that they are also bound up, perhaps essentially, with their physiological manifestations. This ‘mixed’ conception of emotions was broad enough to anchor medieval disagreements over details, yet rich enough to distinguish it from other parts of psychology and medicine. In particular, two kinds of phenomena, thought to be purely physiological, were not considered emotions even on this broad conception. First, what we now classify as drives or urges, for instance hunger and sexual arousal, were thought in the Middle Ages to be at best ‘pre-emotions’ fpropayyioney): mere biological motivations for action, not having any intrinsic cognitive object. Second, moods were likewise thought to be non-objectual somatic states, completely explicable as an imbalance of the bodily humours. Depression fmelancholia), for example, is the pathological condition of having an excess of black bile. Medieval theories of emotions, therefore, concentrate on paradigm cases that fall under the broad conception: delight, anger, distress, fear, and the like. The enterprise of constructing an adequate philosophical theory of the emotions in the Middle Ages had its counterpart in a large body of practical know-how. The medical literature on the emotions, for instance, was extensive, covering such subjects as the causal role of emotions in disease and recovery, the nerves as connecting the brain to the organs involved in the physiological manifestations of the emotions, and the effect of diet and nutrition on emotional responses.. (shrink)
cause other than the very individual itself, and thus there is no ‘metaphysical’ problem of individuation at all—individuality, unlike generality, is primitive and needs no explanation. He supports this view in two ways. First, he argues that there are no nonindividual entities, whether existing in their own right or as metaphysical constituents either of things or in things, and hence that no real principle or cause of individuality (other than the individual itself) is required. Second, he oﬀers a ‘semantic’ interpretation (...) of what appear to be metaphysical diﬃculties about individuality by recasting the issues in the formal mode, as issues within semantics, such as how a referring expression can pick out a single individual. Yet although there is no ‘metaphysical’ problem of individuation, Buridan discusses two associated problems at some length: the identity of individuals over time and the discernibility of individuals. (shrink)
Previous studies investigating reports of corporate or individual wrongdoing have failed to examine the effects of an organization's structure upon the decision to blow the whistle. This paper suggests that an organization's structure may perform a significant role in the decision to report versus not report an observed wrongdoing. Five organizational structures (that is, centralized, matrix, horizontal, hybrid, and divisional) were examined in regards to their effectiveness in encouraging or discouraging observers of unethical conduct channels for reporting such behavior. Discussion (...) and implications are provided. (shrink)
In “Complex Demonstratives: A Quantificational Account” (MIT Press 2001) (henceforth CD), I argued that complex demonstratives are quantifiers. Many philosophers had held that demonstratives, both simple and complex, are referring terms. Since the publication of CD various objections to the account of complex demonstratives I defended in it have been raised. In the present work, I lay out these objections and respond to them.
In one corner Socrates; in the other, on the mat, his cat Felix. Socrates, of course, thinks (correctly) that Felix the Cat is on the mat. But there’s the rub. For Socrates to think that Felix is on the mat, he has to be able to think about Felix, that is, he has to have some sort of cognitive grasp of an individual — and not just any individual, but Felix himself. How is that possible? What is going on when (...) we think about things? (shrink)