Keeley has recently argued that the philosophical issue of how to analyse the concept of a sense can usefully be addressed by considering how scientists, and more specifically neuroethologists, classify the senses. After briefly outlining his proposal, which is based on the application of an ordered set of individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for modality differentiation, I argue, by way of two complementary counterexamples, that it fails to account fully for the way the senses are in fact individuated (...) in neuroethology and other relevant sciences. I suggest substantial modifications to Keeley. (shrink)
We challenge Gallagher’s distinction between the sense of ownership (SO) and the sense of agency (SA) as two separable modalities of experience of the minimal self and argue that a careful investigation of the examples provided to promote this distinction in fact reveals that SO and SA are intimately related and modulate each other. We propose a way to differentiate between the various notions of SO and SA that are currently used interchangeably in the debate, and suggest a (...) more gradual reading of the two that allows for various blends of SO and SA. Such an approach not only provides us with a richer phenomenology but also with a more parsimonious view of the minimal self. (shrink)
The now growing literature on the content and sources of the phenomenology of first-person agency highlights the multi-faceted character of the phenomenology of agency and makes it clear that the experience of agency includes many other experiences as components. This paper examines the possible relations between these components of our experience of acting and the processes involved in action specification and action control. After a brief discussion of our awareness of our goals and means of action, it will focus on (...) the sense of agency for a given action, understood as the sense the agent has that he or she is the author of that action. I argue that the sense of agency can be analyzed as a compound of more basic experiences, including the experience of intentional causation, the sense of initiation and the sense of control. I further argue that the sense of control may itself be analysed into a number of more specific, partially dissociable experiences. (shrink)
The construction and analysis of arguments supposedly are a philosopher's main business, the demonstration of truth or refutation of falsehood his principal aim. In Sense and Sensibilia, J.L. Austin does something entirely different: He discusses the sense-datum doctrine of perception, with the aim not of refuting it but of 'dissolving' the 'philosophical worry' it induces in its champions. To this end, he 'exposes' their 'concealed motives', without addressing their stated reasons. The paper explains where and why this at (...) first sight outrageous aim and approach are perfectly sensible, how exactly Austin proceeds, and how his approach can be taken further. This shows Austin to be a pioneer of the currently much discussed notion of philosophy as therapy, reveals a subtle and unfamiliar use of linguistic analysis that is not open to the standard objections to ordinary language philosophy, and yields a novel and forceful treatment of the sense-datum doctrine. (shrink)
In this paper, I present a version of a sense-data approach to perception, which differs to a certain extent from well-known versions like the one put forward by Jackson. I compare the sense-data view to the currently most popular alternative theories of perception, the so-called Theory of Appearing (a very specific form of disjunctivist approaches) on the one hand and reductive representationalist approaches on the other. I defend the sense-data approach on the basis that it improves substantially (...) on those alternative theories. (shrink)
Two concepts of utmost importance for the analytic philosophy of the twentieth century, “sense-data” and “knowledge by acquaintance”, were introduced by Bertrand Russell under the influence of two idealist philosophers: F. H. Bradley and Alexius Meinong. This paper traces the exact history of their introduction. We shall see that between 1896 and 1898, Russell had a fully-elaborated theory of “sense-data”, which he abandoned after his analytic turn of the summer of 1898. Furthermore, following a subsequent turn of August (...) 1900—-after he became acquainted with the works of Peano and later of Frege—-Russell gradually developed another theory of sense-data. With the collaboration of G. E. Moore, Russell reintroduced the term “sense-data” in 1911. Concomitantly with this move, Russell introduced the epistemological term “knowledge by acquaintance”, which came to designate the grasping of sense-data and universals. (shrink)
On the question of precisely what role common sense (or related datum like folk psychology, trust in pre-theoretic/intuitive judgments, etc.) should have in reigning in the possible excesses of our philosophical methods, the so-called ‘continental’ answer to this question, for the vast majority, would be “as little as possible”, whereas the analytic answer for the vast majority would be “a reasonably central one”. While this difference at the level of both rhetoric and meta-philosophy is sometimes – perhaps often – (...) problematised by the actual philosophical practices of representative philosophers of either tradition, I will argue that this norm (and its absence) nonetheless continues to play an important justificatory role in relation to the use of some rather different methodological practices. In particular, many analytic philosophers not only explicitly invoke the value of common sense, but they also implicitly value it via techniques like conceptual analysis that want to explicate folk psychology and/or lay bare what is already embedded in the linguistic norms of a given culture, the widespread use of thought experiments and the way they function as ‘intuition pumps’, as well as the general aim to achieve ‘reflective equilibrium’ between our intuitions and reflective judgments in epistemology and political philosophy. Such methods, I will argue, enshrine a conservative, or, more positively, a modest understanding of the philosophical project in that it is invested in cohering with both a given body of knowledge and common sense. These methods are notably less perspicuous in continental philosophy. To bring some of the reasons why this might be so to the fore, this paper considers Deleuze’s sustained attack on both good and common sense, which he argues are fundamental to the prevalence of a dogmatic image of thought. If Deleuze is right about this, and if the analytic tradition distils and perfects certain methods that are closely associated with this image of thought, then we have here a rather stark methodological contrast that calls for elaboration and evaluation. (shrink)
This book aims to develop certain aspects of Gottlob Frege's theory of meaning, especially those relevant to intentional logic. It offers a new interpretation of the nature of senses, and attempts to devise a logical calculus for the theory of sense and reference that captures as closely as possible the views of the historical Frege.
In this paper I set out to solve the problem of how the world as we experience it, full of colours and other sensory qualities, and our inner experiences, can be reconciled with physics. I discuss and reject the views of J. J. C. Smart and Rom Harré. I argue that physics is concerned only to describe a selected aspect of all that there is – the causal aspect which determines how events evolve. Colours and other sensory qualities, lacking causal (...) efficacy, are ignored by physics and cannot be predicted by physical theory. Even though physics is silent about sensory qualities, they nevertheless exist objectively in the world – in one sense of “objective” at least. (shrink)
Seeing, Doing, and Knowing is an original and comprehensive philosophical treatment of sense perception as it is currently investigated by cognitive neuroscientists. Its central theme is the task-oriented specialization of sensory systems across the biological domain; these systems coevolve with an organism's learning and action systems, providing the latter with classifications of external objects in terms of sensory categories purpose--built for their need. On the basis of this central idea, Matthen presents novel theories of perceptual similarity, content, and realism. (...) His work will be a stimulating resource for a wide range of scholars and students across philosophy and psychology. (shrink)
In this paper we give some formal examples of ideas developed by Penco in two papers on the tension inside Frege's notion of sense (see Penco 2003). The paper attempts to compose the tension between semantic and cognitive aspects of sense, through the idea of sense as proof or procedure – not as an alternative to the idea of sense as truth condition, but as complementary to it (as it happens sometimes in the old tradition of (...) procedural semantics). (shrink)
I compare Frith and colleagues’ influential comparator account of how the sense of agency is elicited to the multifactorial weighting model advocated by Synofzik and colleagues. I defend the comparator model from the common objection that the actual sensory consequences of action are not needed to elicit the sense of agency. I examine the comparator model’s ability to explain the performance of healthy subjects and those suffering from delusions of alien control on various self-attribution tasks. It transpires that (...) the comparator model needs case-by-case adjustment to deal with problematic data. In response to this, the multifactorial weighting model of Synofzik and colleagues is introduced. Although this model is incomplete, it is more naturally constrained by the cases that are problematic for the comparator model. However, this model may be untestable. I conclude that currently the comparator model approach has stronger support than the multifactorial weighting model approach. (shrink)
This paper presents a response to the question of the relationship between science and reality. It rejects the anti-realist claim that we are unable to acquire knowledge of reality in favour of the realist view that science yields knowledge of the external world. But what world is that? Some argue that science leads to the overthrow of our commonsense view of the world. Common sense is “stone-age metaphysics” to be rejected as the false theory of our primitive ancestors. Against (...) such eliminativists about common sense, it is argued that science both preserves and explains commonsense experience of the world. Though science may lead to the overthrow of deeply held beliefs, common sense reflects a more basic and durable level of experience. Commonsense beliefs are well-confirmed beliefs which are vindicated by their role in successful practical action each and every day. Common sense provides a firm basis on which to establish the realist approach to science. (shrink)
Gottlob Frege has exerted an enormous influence on the evolution of twentieth-century philosophy, yet the real significance of that influence is still very much a matter of debate. This book provides a completely new and systematic account of Frege's philosophy by focusing on its cornerstone: the theory of sense and reference. Two features distinguish this study from other books on Frege. First, sense and reference are placed absolutely at the core of Frege's work; the author shows that no (...) adequate account of the theory can avoid analysing the notion of thought that underpins it, or explaining how it has clarified our concept of judgement. Second, the theory is situated within the development of Frege's thought; the author reveals how the theory caused Frege to alter many of his fundamental views. In doing so the author presents a clearer picture of the problems the theory was intended to solve, and delineates more sharply the characteristic features of Frege's philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the circumstances in which it would be right to revise a common-sense psychological categorisation -- such as the common-sense categorisation of emotions -- in the light of the results of empirical investigation. I argue that an answer to that question, familiar from eliminitivist arguments, should be rejected, and suggest that the issue turns on the ontological commitments of the explanations that common-sense psychological states enter into.
The sense of embodiment is vital for self recognition. An examination of anosognosia for hemiplegia—the inability to recognise that one is paralysed down one side of one’s body—suggests the existence of ‘online’ and ‘offline’ representations of the body. Online representations of the body are representations of the body as it is currently, are newly constructed moment by moment and are directly “plugged into” current perception of the body. In contrast, offline representations of the body are representations of what the (...) body is usually like, are relatively stable and are constructed from online representations. This distinction is supported by an analysis of phantom limb—the feeling that an amputated limb is still present—phenomena. Initially it seems that the sense of embodiment may arise from either of these types of representation; however, an integrated representation of the body seems to be required. It is suggested information from vision and emotions is involved in generating these representations. A lack of access to online representations of the body does not necessarily lead to a loss in the sense of embodiment. An integrated offline representation of the body could account for the sense of embodiment and perform the functions attributed to this sense. (shrink)
Metaphysicians of Meaning is the first book to challenge the accepted understanding of Russell's On Denoting and Frege's On Sense and Reference . Makin compares the work Russell did shortly before his famous essay "On Denoting" with the essay itself and argues that this comparison shows that the traditional view of the problem Russell was trying to solve is untenable. He then examines Frege's classic essay and argues that some of the less well-known views that Frege held have radical (...) implications for our understanding of this essay. (shrink)
De Vignemont argues that the sense of ownership comes from the localization of bodily sensation on a map of the body that is part of the body schema. This model should be taken as a model of the sense of embodiment. I argue that the body schema lacks the theoretical resources needed to explain this phenomenology. Furthermore, there is some reason to think that a deficient sense of embodiment is not associated with a deficient body schema. The (...) data de Vignemont uses to argue that the body image does not underlie the sense of embodiment does not rule out the possibility that part of the body image I call 'offline representations' underlies the sense of embodiment. An alternative model of the sense of embodiment in terms of offline representations of the body is presented. (shrink)
An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense (1728), jointly with Francis Hutcheson’s earlier work Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725), presents one of the most original and wide-ranging moral philosophies of the eighteenth century. These two works, each comprising two semi-autonomous treatises, were widely translated and vastly influential throughout the eighteenth century in England, continental Europe, and America. -/- The two works had (...) their greatest impact in Scotland and influenced many well-known Scottish philosophers, particularly those writing after the last Jacobite upheaval, in 1745. This can be seen in the concern of the post-1745 generation with analyzing human nature as the foundation of moral theory, with the “moral sense” and moral epistemology more generally, with the impartial spectator and the calm passions, and with the independence of benevolence from self-interest. In addition to the influence of his writings, Hutcheson was also a famed teacher whose Glasgow students, notably Adam Smith, held sway over generations of Scottish moral philosophers. -/- Despite their impact on Scottish letters, the four treatises were in fact written in Dublin, and the philosophers to whom Hutcheson responded and with whom he debated were in the main not Scottish but English, Irish, French, Roman, and Greek. Consequently, part of Hutcheson’s legacy was a cosmopolitan outlook among enlightened Scots, who learned to turn their eyes far from home. (shrink)
Noah Lemos defends the common sense tradition--the view that permits us to justify the philosophical inquiry of many of the things we ordinarily think we know. He discusses the main features of this tradition as expounded by Thomas Reid, G.E. Moore and Roderick Chisholm in a text that will appeal to students and philosophers in epistemology and ethics.
The contributors to this volume examine current controversies about the importance of common sense psychology for our understanding of the human mind. Common sense provides a familiar and friendly psychological scheme by which to talk about the mind. Its categories (belief, desire, intention, consciousness, emotion, and so on) tend to portray the mind as quite different from the rest of nature, and thus irreducible to physical matters and its laws. In this volume a variety of positions on common (...)sense psychology from critical to supportive, from exegetical to speculative, are represented. Among the questions posed are: Is common sense psychology an empirical theory, a body of analytic knowledge, a practice, or a strategy? If it is a legitimate enterprise can it be naturalized or not? If it is not legitimate can it be eliminated? Is its fate tied to our understanding of consciousness? Should we approach its concepts and generalizations from the standpoint of conceptual analysis or from the philosophy of science? (shrink)
Review of Johanson's book Aristotle on the sense organs. Aristotle seeks to explain the characteristics of the different sense organs by reference to the goal that they serve, that of enabling animals to perceive. A material basis is necessary for sense perception but it is an open question whether the material in question undergoes a physiological change.
This paper examines Duhem’s concept of good sense as an attempt to support a non rule-governed account of rationality in theory choice. Faced with the underdetermination of theory by evidence thesis and the continuity thesis, Duhem tried to account for the ability of scientists to choose theories that continuously grow to a natural classification. I will examine the concept of good sense and the problems that stem from it. I will also present a recent attempt by David Stump (...) to link good sense to virtue epistemology. I will argue that even though this approach can be useful for the better comprehension of the concept of good sense, there are some substantial differences between virtue epistemologists and Duhem. In the light of this reconstruction of good sense, I will propose a possible way to interpret the concept of good sense, which overcomes the noted problems and fits better with Duhem’s views on scientific method and motivation in developing the concept of good sense. (shrink)
There has been a significant interest in the recent literature in developing a solution to the problem of theory choice which is both normative and descriptive, but agent-based rather than rule-based, originating from Pierre Duhem's notion of 'good sense'. In this paper we present the properties Duhem attributes to good sense in different contexts, before examining its current reconstructions advanced in the literature and their limitations. We propose an alternative account of good sense, seen as promoting social (...) consensus in science, and show that it is superior to its rivals in two respects: it is more faithful to Duhemian good sense, and it cashes out the effect that virtues have on scientific progress. We then defend the social consensus account against objections that highlight the positive role of diversity and division of labour in science. (shrink)
Husserlian variation, Bergsonian intuition and Peircean abduction are contrasted as methodological responses to the traditional philosophical problem of deriving knowledge of universals from singulars. Each method implies a correspondingly different view of the generation of the variations from which knowledge is derived. To make sense of the latter differences, and to distinguish the different sorts of variation sought by philosophers and scientists, a distinction between extensive, intensive, and abductive-intensive variation is introduced. The link between philosophical method and the generation (...) of variation is used to illuminate different philosophical conceptions of nature and nature's relation to meaning and sense. (shrink)
Examples of sensory illusion show the failure of the attempt of traditional sense-datum theory to account for something's phenomenally appearing to be F by postulating the existence of a sense-datum that is actually F. the Muller-Lyer Illusion cannot be explained by postulating two sensibly presented lines that actually have the lengths the physical lines appear to have. Illusions due to color contrast cannot be explained by postulating sense-data that actually have the colors the physical samples appear to (...) have. (shrink)
Abstract. Alleged counter-examples based on conceptual thought-experiments, including those involving sense or content, have no force against physicalist supervenience theses properly construed. This is largely because of their epistemological status and their modal status. Still, there are empirical examples that do contradict Kim-style theses, due to the latter's individualism. By contrast, non-individualist supervenience, such as "global" supervenience, remains unscathed, a possibility overlooked by Lynne Baker, as is clear from a physicalist account of sense in the case of non-human (...) biological adaptations that are for producing things about affairs in the world. (shrink)
Integration of ontologies begins with establishing mappings between their concept entries. We map categories from the largest manually-built ontology, Cyc, onto Wikipedia articles describing corresponding concepts. Our method draws both on Wikipedia’s rich but chaotic hyperlink structure and Cyc’s carefully defined taxonomic and common-sense knowledge. On 9,333 manual alignments by one person, we achieve an F-measure of 90%; on 100 alignments by six human subjects the average agreement of the method with the subject is close to their agreement with (...) each other. We cover 62.8% of Cyc categories relating to common-sense knowledge and discuss what further information might be added to Cyc given this substantial new alignment. (shrink)
The Wittgenstein’s notion of plain and patent nonsense is fertile because it shows the discovery of the ambiguity of the sense, in particular of the nonsense of contingency at the end of complete clarification. All the reflection of Wittgenstein’s philosophy is a question on the possibility of crossing, from the inside, language as it is to move from the hidden nonsense of the contingency of the language and of the reality to the patent nonsense of the philosophy. But since (...) the clarity of the patent nonsense shows the paradoxical situation of our condition, the limits of the language, the patent nonsense is also the real discovery of the Philosophy that makes me capable of stopping doing philosophy when I want to. This is the aesthetical dimension of the sense, in which the patent nonsense makes a transition to the hidden and enigmatic nonsense. It is on the level of this hidden nonsense that we can find the notion of Satzklang: sound of proposition. When we grasp in a flash, when we hear and we pronounce a word or a proposition, we catch the sound of the word that has directly to do with its meaning or its application, and it brings us back to that preliminary dimension in which we belong to a language that guarantees the possibility of the meaning of what we say, a possibility that reveals itself only in a dimension of non-sense: the echo of the original sounds of the language as it stands as enigmatically senseless because it poses itself as a condition for any language, in a primitive and primeval dimension of language. The paradigmatic aesthetical experiences called understanding a musical theme and understanding a poem, the question about the meaning of the sounds and the meaning of a theme in music show are described from the transiction from patent nonsense to something which is hidden nonsense. The analysis of the sound of proposition shows the sense of nonsense moving toward the inaccessible original place of the language: the place of having the taking-place of language itself. (shrink)
According to Jean-Luc Nancy the essential condition for the existence of sense is the 'otherness' of our being-together. For John Cassavetes being-together makes sense only there where it escapes sense. It will be shown that in fact that both propositions derive from a qualitative distance at the heart of our being-together. This qualitative distance triggers the circulation of sense and leaves sense always open. It is in this way that being-together responds of sense absolutely (...) (responding to its content – the acquired meanings – and its structure – sense’s referentiality) by foreclosing any absolute sense, maintaining itself as it were as the moving horizon of sense. (shrink)
Is it a good time to be alive? Is ours a good society to be alive in? Is it possible to have a good life in our time? And finally, does a good life consist of having a good time? Are happiness and “a good life” interchangeable? These are the questions that Mortimer Adler addresses himself to. The heart of the book lies in its conception of the good life for man, which provides the standard for measuring a century, a (...) society, or a culture: for upon that turns the meaning of each man’s primary moral right – his right to the pursuit of happiness. The moral philosophy that Dr. Adler expounds in terms of this conception he calls “the ethics of common sense,” because it is as a defense and development of the common-sense answer to the question “can I really make a good life for myself?”. (shrink)
On a classical conception, knowing the sense of a proposition is knowing its truth-condition, rather than simply knowing how to verify the proposition, or how to find its implications (whether deductive implications or implications for action). But knowing the truth-condition of a proposition is not unrelated to your use of particular methods for verifying the proposition, or finding its implications. Rather, your knowledge of the truth-condition of the proposition has to justify the use of particular methods for verifying it, (...) or finding its implications. And your knowledge of the truth-condition of the proposition has to be what causes your use of particular methods for verifying it or finding its implications. So on a classical picture, we do not appeal to knowledge of sense only in explaining the informativeness of identities. We have to think of knowledge of sense as what causes, and justifies, your use of particular ways of verifying or finding the implications of a proposition. I argue that in the case of a perceptual demonstrative, like 'that star' or 'that mountain', it is conscious attention to the object that causes, and justifies, your use of particular ways of verifying or finding the implications of propositions involving the demonstrative. So conscious attention to the object is what constitutes your grasp of the sense of the demonstrative. This runs counter to the philosophical tradition since Locke, which takes it that the role of experience in understanding has to do solely with the verification of propositions. I argue that once we think of conscious attention as a pre-intentional acquaintance with the object itself, we can see how it is possible to think of understanding as consisting in knowledge of classical truth-conditions. (shrink)
The rubber hand illusion (RHI) is the experience of an artificial body part as being a real body part and the experience of touch coming from that artificial body part. An explanation of this illusion would take significant steps towards explaining the experience of embodiment in one’s own body. I present a new cognitive model to explain the RHI. I argue that the sense of embodiment arises when an on-line representation of the candidate body part is represented as matching (...) an off-line prototype representation of what one’s body is usually like. The cause of the sense of embodiment in the model body part only partially overlaps with the causes of proprioceptive drift, which commonly accompanies the RHI, and so is compatible with observed dissociations between the illusion and proprioceptive drift. The distinguishing features of this model are the off-line body representation, and the process of matching an on-line model to an off-line model, both of which are to be understood in terms of a conceptual space. -/- Key Words: Rubber Hand Illusion; RHI; Sense of Embodiment; Self Consciousness; Body Experience. (shrink)
What is common sense? -- Back in time -- How does common sense work -- Understanding common sense -- More than common sense -- Common sense and mistakes -- Animal common sense -- More than common sense -- Common sense nonsense -- Common sense test.
The theory of knowledge in early twentieth-century Anglo Amencan pht losophy was orzented toward phenomenally descnbed cognition There was a healthy respect for the mind body problem, which meant that phenomena in both the mental and physzcal domam were talcen senously Bertrand Russell's developmg positzon on sense-data and momentary particulars drew upcm, and ultimately became lzke, the neutral monism of Ernst Mach and William James Due to a more iecent behavzonst and physicalist inspired "fear of the mental", this development (...) has been down played in hzstoncal work on early analync philosophy Such neglect as sumes that the "linguistic turn" is a proper and permanent effect of twentzeth century philosophy, an assumption that distorts early analytic hzstortography, and begs a substantive philosoplucal questzon about thought and cognition. (shrink)
This chapter considers whether any of the inner sense mechanisms that have been postulated to detect and represent some of our own mental states should qualify as sensory modalities. We first review and reject the four standard views of the senses, and then propose a set of properties that would be possessed by a prototypical sensory system. Thereafter we consider how closely the existing models of inner sense match the prototype. Some resemble a prototypical sense to a (...) high degree, some much less so. (shrink)
This article is interdisciplinary in its claims. Evolving around the ecological concept of affordance, it brings together pragmatics and ecological psychology. Starting from the theoretical writings of Peirce, Dewey and James, the biosemiotic claims of von Uexküll, Gibson’s ecological approach to perception and some empirical evidence from recent neurobiological research, it elaborates on the concepts of experiential and enactive cognition as applied to music. In order to provide an operational description of this approach, it introduces some conceptual tools from the (...) domain of cybernetics with a major focus on the concept of circularity, which links perception to action in a continuous process of sense-making and interaction with the environment. As such, it is closely related to some pragmatic, biosemiotic and ecosemiotic claims which can be subsumed under the general notion of functional significance. An attempt is made to apply this conceptual framework to the process of musical sense-making which involves the realisation of systemic cognition in the context of epistemic interactions that are grounded in our biology and possibilities for adaptive control. Central in this approach is the concept of coping with the environment, or, in musical terms, to perceive the sounding music in terms of what it affords for the consummation of musical behaviour. (shrink)
Peter van Inwagen and Colin McGinn hold that there are strong arguments for strict incompatibilism, i.e. for the claim that the free will thesis (F) is inconsistent not just with determinism but with the negation of determinism as well. Interestingly, both authors deny that these arguments are apt to justify the claim that (F) is false. I argue that van Inwagen and McGinn are right in taking the fact that epistemic commitment to (F) is deeply rooted in common sense (...) to cast doubt on arguments to the conclusion that (F) is false. However, instead of declaring free will to be a mystery (van Inwagen) or claiming that the problem of free will amounts to a problem whose correct solution is cognitively closed to human intellect (McGinn), I propose to simply view the problem of free will as a hard problem – its hardness being due to the fact that it involves a large variety of concepts whose correct explication is philosophically moot. (shrink)
Can there be a theory-free experience? And what would be the object of such an experience. Drawing on ideas set out by Husserl in the “Crisis” and in the second book of his “Ideas”, the paper presents answers to these questions in such a way as to provide a systematic survey of the content and ontology of common sense. In the second part of the paper Husserl’s ideas on the relationship between the common-sense world (what he called the (...) ‘life-world’) and the world of physical theory are subjected to a critical evaluation. The relation of Husserl’s ideas to current work in folk psychology and naive physics and to the direct realism of J. J. Gibson are also treated. (shrink)
Although it has been something of a fetish for philosophers to distinguish between hallucination and illusion, the enduring problems for philosophy of perception that both phenomena present are not essentially different. Hallucination, in its pure philosophical form, is just another example of the philosopher’s penchant for considering extreme and extremely idealized cases in order to understand the ordinary. The problem that has driven much philosophical thinking about perception is the problem of how to reconcile our evident direct perceptual contact with (...) objects and properties with the equally evident fact that there is no phenomenological signal separating error and truth. “The obscure object of hallucination” offers a subtle and plausible solution to this problem and one that solves the problem generally, not just in the special case of hallucination. Johnston’s objective is to offer a theory of perception that meets two constraints: (1) that it provide an explanation of the possibility of delusive and veridical sensings that are indistinguishable from the ﬁrst-person perspective and (2) that it count as form of direct realism where this is taken to involve acquaintance with the objects of perception. Johnston uses the ﬁrst constraint to rule out disjunctivism. The second constraint is used to rule out conjunctivism, which as Johnston uses the term, includes most of the widely adopted philosophical theories of perception. Johnston also develops his own sophisticated and interesting theory of perception. In what follows, I will discuss the relation of Johnston’s theory to conjunctivism, examine one of his anti-conjunctivist arguments and ﬁnally compare Johnston’s theory with some other versions of direct realism. These topics constitute a very incomplete selection of the important issues discussed in this rich and interesting paper. I will also not disagree, in any fundamental way, with any of the central theses of Johnston’s discussion.. (shrink)
This paper develops a criterion for sameness of Fregean senses. I consider three criteria: logical equivalence, intensional isomorphism, and epistemic equipollence. I reject the first two and argue for a version of the third.
What is introspective knowledge of one's own intentional states like? This paper aims to make plausible the view that certain cases of self-knowledge, namely the cogito-type ones, are enough like perception to count as cases of quasi-observation. To this end it considers the highly influential arguments developed by Sydney Shoemaker in his recent Royce Lectures. These present the most formidable challenge to the view that certain cases of self-knowledge are quasi-observational and so deserve detailed examination. Shoemaker's arguments are directed against (...) two models of ordinary perception, the "object perception model" and the "broad perceptual model". I argue that the core theses that Shoemaker associated with them are either dubious in their own right or applicable to certain cases of self-knowledge. Overall the aim is to show that there is such a variety of patterns in each case that simple analogies or disanalogies are unhelpful. (shrink)
Introspective reports are used as sources of information about other minds, in both everyday life and science. Many scientists and philosophers consider this practice unjustified, while others have made the untestable assumption that introspection is a truthful method of private observation. I argue that neither skepticism nor faith concerning introspective reports are warranted. As an alternative, I consider our everyday, commonsensical reliance on each other’s introspective reports. When we hear people talk about their minds, we neither refuse to learn from (...) nor blindly accept what they say. Sometimes we accept what we are told, other times we reject it, and still other times we take the report, revise it in light of what we believe, then accept the modified version. Whatever we do, we have (implicit) reasons for it. In developing a sound methodology for the scientific use of introspective reports, we can take our commonsense treatment of introspective reports and make it more explicit and rigorous. We can discover what to infer from introspective reports in a way similar to how we do it every day, but with extra knowledge, methodological care, and precision. Sorting out the use of introspective reports as sources of data is going to be a painstaking, piecemeal task, but it promises to enhance our science of the mind and brain. (shrink)
Many philosophers nowadays believe Frege was right about belief, but wrong about language: The contents of beliefs need to be individuated more finely than in terms of Russellian propositions, but the contents of utterances do not. I argue that this 'hybrid view' cannot offer no reasonable account of how communication transfers knowledge from one speaker to another and that, to do so, we must insist that understanding depends upon more than just getting the references of terms right.
One of the dominant themes structuring the trajectory of Jean-François Lyotard's philosophical work is his concern to think the event in a way that renders it intelligible, but that also respects the alterity and the uncanniness that are essential to it. In this paper I defend Lyotard's earlier understanding of the event, articulated most thoroughly in Discours, figure, from the criticisms of the later Lyotard, articulated most thoroughly in The Differend. More specifically, I attempt to demonstrate that the event, as (...) disruption of the stable system of signification, is given immediately with the signification that it disrupts. (shrink)
What account of evaluative expressions, such as ‘is beautiful’, ‘is generous’ or ‘is good’, should a Fregean adopt? Given Frege’s claim that predicates can have both a sense and a reference in addition to their extension, an interesting range of only partially explored theoretical possibilities opens to Frege and his followers. My intention here is to briefly present these putative possibilities and explore one of them, namely David Wiggins’ claim that evaluative predicates refer to non-natural concepts and have a (...)sense which is sentiment-involving. In order to defend this claim against objections which aim at showing that evaluative concepts do not really exist, I shall suggest that our awareness of evaluative concepts involves affective (or emotive) states. (shrink)