The world we touch, see and hear is not the "real" world -- How the mind transforms the world : the life of the mind -- The time to create the mind's reality -- Priming consciousness -- Mixing and remixing the elements of experience -- The mind plays its little shell games -- A change of pace for a change of mind.
Professor Hilary Putnam has been one of the most influential and sharply original of recent American philosophers in a whole range of fields. His most important published work is collected here, together with several new and substantial studies, in two volumes. The first deals with the philosophy of mathematics and of science and the nature of philosophical and scientific enquiry; the second deals with the philosophy of language and mind. Volume one is now issued in a new edition, including (...) an essay on the philosophy of logic first published in 1971. (shrink)
This article argues that organisms, defined by a semi-permeable membrane or skin separating organism from environment, are (must be) semiotically alert responders to environments (both Innenwelt and Umwelt). As organisms and environments complexify over time, so, necessarily, does semiotic responsiveness, or ‘semiotic freedom’. In complex environments, semiotic responsiveness necessitates increasing plasticity of discernment, or discrimination. Such judgements, in other words, involve interpretations. The latter, in effect, consist of translations of a range of sign relations which, like metaphor, are based on (...) transfers (carryings over) of meanings or expressions from one semiotic ‘site’ to another. The article argues that what humans describe as ‘metaphor’ (and believe is something which only pertains to human speech and mind and, in essence, is ‘not real’) is, in fact, fundamental to all semiotic and biosemiotic sign processes in all living things. The article first argues that metaphor and mind are immanent in all life, and are evolutionary, and, thus, that animals certainly do have minds. Following Heidegger and then Agamben, the article continues by asking about the place of animal mind in humans, and concludes that, as a kind of ‘night science’, ‘humananimal’ mind is central to the semiotics of Peircean abduction. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to show that the prospects for intentional irrealism are much brighter than it is generally thought. In the first section, I provide a general haracterization of some of the various forms that the realism/irrealism debates might take. In the second, I ask whether there is any defensible form of realism about intentional states. I show that most candidates are nearly trivially false, and that the only form of intentional realism which is not, is a (...) restricted one which is prima facie no more plausible than the corresponding form of irrealism. In the third and last section, I defend my interpretation of what intentional irrealism amounts to against some possible misunderstandings, give some reasons why it should be taken seriously and argue that it could plausibly be attributed to Davidson. (shrink)
Many faces of consciousness -- Ethics, religion, and the identity of self -- States of mind -- Why hearts don't love and brains don't pump -- EEG : a window on the mind -- Dynamic patterns as shadows of thought -- Networks, waves, and resonant binding -- The limits of science : What do we really know? -- Modern physics, cosmology, and consciousness -- The weird behavior of quantum systems -- Ontological interpretations of quantum mechanics -- Does the (...) brain create the mind? (shrink)
When certain formal symbol systems (e.g., computer programs) are implemented as dynamic physical symbol systems (e.g., when they are run on a computer) their activity can be interpreted at higher levels (e.g., binary code can be interpreted as LISP, LISP code can be interpreted as English, and English can be interpreted as a meaninguful conversation). These higher levels of interpretability are called ‘virtual’ systems. If such a virtual system is interpretable as if it had a mind, is such a (...) ‘virtual mind’ real?This is the question addressed in this ‘virtual’ symposium, originally conducted electronically among four cognitive scientists. Donald Perlis, a computer scientist, argues that according to the computationalist thesis, virtual minds are real and hence Searle's Chinese Room Argument fails, because if Searle memorized and executed a program that could pass the Turing Test in Chinese he would have a second, virtual, Chinese-understanding mind of which he was unaware (as in multiple personality). Stevan Harnad, a psychologist, argues that Searle's Argument is valid, virtual minds are just hermeneutic overinterpretations, and symbols must be grounded in the real world of objects, not just the virtual world of interpretations. Computer scientist Patrick Hayes argues that Searle's Argument fails, but because Searle does not really implement the program: a real implementation must not be homuncular but mindless and mechanical, like a computer. Only then can it give rise to a mind at the virtual level. Philosopher Ned Block suggests that there is no reason a mindful implementation would not be a real one. (shrink)
Introduction -- A default position -- Experience -- The character of experience -- Understanding-experience -- A note about dispositional mental states -- Purely experiential content -- An account of four seconds of thought -- Questions -- The mental and the nonmental -- The mental and the publicly observable -- The mental and the behavioral -- Neobehaviorism and reductionism -- Naturalism in the philosophy of mind -- Conclusion: The three questions -- Agnostic materialism, part 1 -- Monism -- The linguistic (...) argument -- Materialism and monism -- A comment on reduction -- The impossibility of an objective phenomenology -- Asymmetry and reduction -- Equal-status monism -- Panpsychism -- The inescapability of metaphysics -- Agnostic materialism, part 2 -- Ignorance -- Sensory spaces -- Experience, explanation, and theoretical integration -- The hard part of the mind-body problem -- Neutral monism and agnostic monism -- A comment on eliminativism, instrumentalism, and so on -- Mentalism, idealism, and immaterialism -- Mentalism -- Strict or pure process idealism -- Active-principle idealism -- Stuff idealism -- Immaterialism -- The positions restated -- The dualist options -- Frege's thesis -- Objections to pure process idealism -- The problem of mental dispositions -- Mental -- Shared abilities -- The sorting ability -- The definition of mental being -- Mental phenomena -- The view that all mental phenomena are experiential phenomena -- Natural intentionality -- E/c intentionality -- The experienceless -- Intentionality and abstract and nonexistent objects -- Experience, purely experiential content, and n/c intentionality -- Concepts in nature -- Intentionality and experience -- Summary with problem -- Pain and pain -- The neo-behaviorist view -- A linguistic argument for the necessary connection between pain and behavior -- A challenge -- The Sirians -- N.N. Novel -- An objection to the Sirians -- The Betelgeuzians -- The point of the Sirians -- Functionalism, naturalism, and realism about pain -- Unpleasantness and qualitative character -- The weather watchers -- The rooting story -- What is it like to be a weather watcher? -- The aptitudes of mental states -- The argument from the conditions for possessing the concept of space -- The argument from the conditions for language ability -- The argument from the nature of desire -- Desire and affect -- The argument from the phenomenology of desire -- Behavior -- A hopeless definition -- Difficulties -- Other-observability -- Neo-behaviorism -- The concept of mind. (shrink)
Two fundamental questions are addressed within the framework orthodox quantum mechanics. The first is the duality-nonduality conflict arising from the fact that our scientific description of nature has two disparate parts: an empirical component and a theoretical component. The second question is the possibility of meaningful free will in a quantum world concordant with the principle of sufficient reason, which asserts that nothing happens without a sufficient reason. The two issues are resolved by an examination of the conceptual and mathematical (...) structure of orthodox quantum mechanics, without appealing to abstract philosophical analysis or intuitive sentiments. (shrink)
Children’s ability to pretend, and the apparent lack of pretence in children with autism, have become important issues in current research on ‘theory of mind’, on the assumption that pretend play may be an early indicator of metarepresentational abilities.
In a characteristic passage John McDowell says: [T]his is one of those set-ups that are familiar in philosophy, in which a supposedly exhaustive choice confers a spurious plausibility on a philosophical position. The apparent plausibility is not intrinsic to the position, but reflects an assumed framework; when one looks at the position on its own, the plausibility crumbles away ... In such a situation, the thing to do is to query the assumption that seems to force the choice.
Written with the beginner in mind, Robert Wilkinson carefully introduces the reader to the fundamental components of the philosophy of mind. Each chapter is then helpfully linked to a reading from key thinkers in the field such as Descartes and John R. Searle.
Confabulations are memories of events and experiences that have never actually happened. Such false memories have fascinated scientists for over a century, and in recent years been the subject of much debate. This is the first book to provide an in-depth analysis of an extraordinary and controversial subject. Written by a leading authority, it re-traces the history of this phenomenon and explores its causes, anatomical basis, and mechanisms. It looks at how confabulations relate to other failures of memory and considers (...) phenomena such as déjà-vu, paramnesic misidentification, disorientation, and anosognosia. The book also examines similarities and differences between pathological confabulations and normal false memories, as they occur in healthy people. -/- Providing important insights into memory in general, the book will be of interest to neurologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and other scientists and clinicians interested in the organization of memory and thought. (shrink)