I shall describe yet another problem about fiction, similar in some respects to the ‘paradoxes of fiction’ on which so much ink has been spilt over the last quarter of a century. Since fictions are ‘made up’, what considerations stop us from making up our own endings to a fiction which is incomplete or whose ending we have lost or missed or whose ending is unpalatable?
Robert Sharpe examines the humanist conception of music as a language--as expressive and intelligible--which has been a dominant theory in Western culture. He argues against the view that music is expressive by causing certain states in us. Rather, he contends that our beliefs about music are integral to our appreciation of it. Differences in musical taste are then not just irresolvable differences in sensitivity, but the result of variations in circumstance and upbringing, of associations and ideology.
Making the Human Mind is an attack on the widespread assumption that the mind has parts, that the interaction between these parts accounts for some of the most characteristic human behavior, the sorts of irrational behavior displayed in self-deception and weakness of will. The implications of this attack are considerable: Sharpe contests a realism about the mind, the belief that there is an inventory which an all-seeing deity could compile containing answers to all the questions we ask about people, whether (...) they are deceitful or in love, or what their motivation is. With this goes the hermeneutic approach to the understanding of human behavior. These forms of understanding are markedly different from that suggested by the scientific model and favored by those who partition the mind. (shrink)
Three arguments are proposed against the idea that ordinary talk about the mind constitutes a folk psychology, a sort of prescientific theory which explains human behaviour and which is ripe for replacement by a neurological or computational theory with better scientific credentials. First, not all talk of the mind is introduced to explain in the way assumed by those who think that mental talk hypothesizes inner processes to explain behaviour. Second, the individuation of the behaviour which is explained by the (...) inner processes itself requires reference to ?mental? states such as intentions or desires. Consequently the project is circular. Finally, scientific theory is a practice with a history which may be matched in the case of ordinary talk of the mind. Certainly ordinary talk of motives, intentions, and thoughts may be infected by the theorizing of economists and sociologists et al., but it is impossible that all talk of the mind should be theoretical in this way. (shrink)
In this note I have presented the essentials of a view of how laws are falsified, a view which has been held by some notable philosophers but which is radically opposed to that of Professor Popper. I have not scrupled to ?improve? upon it, so the view of no one philosopher is presented. I try to show that an interesting and convincing account of scientific simplicity is implicit in the theory and I conclude by suggesting how we can bring the (...) argument to bear on the problem of the logical status of laws of nature, showing that through their manner of falsifiability, laws share some characteristics with necessary statements as well as with empirical generalizations. (shrink)