The Life of the Mind presents an original and striking conception of the mind and its place in nature. In a spirited and rigorous attack on most of the orthodox positions in contemporary philosophy of mind, McCulloch connects three of the orthodoxy's central themes-- externalism, phenomenology and the relation between science and commonsense psychology in a defense of a thoroughly anti-Cartesian conception of mental life. McCulloch argues that the life of the mind will never be understood until we properly understand (...) the subject's essential embodiment and immersion in the world, until we give up the idea that an understanding of the mind must be "scientific," and until we give up the idea that intentionality and phenomenology must be understood separately. (shrink)
Conceptual atomists argue that most of our concepts are primitive. I take up three arguments that have been thought to support atomism and show that they are inconclusive. The evidence that allegedly backs atomism is equally compatible with a localist position on which concepts are structured representations with complex semantic content. I lay out such a localist position and argue that the appropriate position for a non-atomist to adopt is a pluralist view of conceptual structure. I show several ways in (...) which conceptual pluralism provides an advantage in satisfying the empirical and philosophical demands on a theory of conceptual structure and content. (shrink)
Since Descartes, the mind has been thought to be "in the head," separable from the world and even from the body it inhabits. In The Mind and its World , Gregory McCulloch considers the latest debates in philosophy and cognitive science about whether the thinking subject actually requires an environment in order to be able to think. McCulloch explores the mind/body duality from the Enlightenment to the 20th century. He examines such figures as Descartes, Frege, Locke, and Wittgenstein. His method (...) is comparative, and his insights are illuminating. By pitting Descartes against such thinkers as Wittgenstein and Frege, McCulloch produces a dynamic account of the implications of the Descartian argument about consciousness and the mind. The contrast evolves into McCulloch's original theory of externalism, the notion that the mind is not in the head, and is constituted by environmental, and linguistic object relations. The Mind and its World is a clearand compelling reading of the one of the dominant elements and debates within Western philosophy. Its synthesis of the arguments and controversies will make this book necessary reading for the general reader who is interested in the claims the Enlightenment and its aftermath have made about consciousness, our "minds", and even our brains._. (shrink)
Using Sartre is an introduction to the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre which promotes Sartrean views but adopts a consistently analytical approach to him. Concentrating on his early philosophy, up to and including Sartre's masterwork Being and Nothingness, Gregory McCulloch demonstrates how much analytical philosophers miss when they neglect Sartre and the continental tradition in philosophy. In the classic spirit of analytical philosophy, Using Sartre is a clear and pithy exposition of Sartre's early work. Written specifically for beginners and non-specialists, the (...) book is sure to spark new interest in Sartre and the existentialists while also making a significant contribution to the analytical philosophy of mind. It indicates how the analytical and continental approaches to philosophy may be brought into closer relation to one another. (shrink)
This introduction to modern work in analytic philosophy uses the example of the proper name to give a clear explanation of the logical theories of Gottlob Frege, and explain the application of his ideas to ordinary language. McCulloch then shows how meaning is rooted in the philosophy of mind and the question of intentionality, and looks at the ways in which thought can be "about" individual material objects.